Ziff’s TNE Merges With America’s Network

By Erin Joyce

Technology publisher Ziff Davis Media has sold the assets of its Internet-focused magazine title The Net Economy to Boston-based Advanstar’s America’s Network Companies.

The agreement also marks an alliance between two companies that make a business in technology publishing and business-to-business trade shows — two hard-hit sectors in the technology-driven retrenchment of the past two years.

As a result of the collapse in tech advertising, for example, the New York-based Ziff is in the midst of a restructuring in order to avoid bankruptcy.

The deal includes a cross-marketing agreement in which both sides will promote each others’ publications and conferences, which could help Ziff establish more of a presence with its lesser-known conferences and trade show business lines.

The merger agreement with Advanstar means the May 20th edition of The Net Economy was its last. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a spokesman said the merger netted America’s Network a TNE subscriber list of about 75,000. In addition, TNE’s four e-mail newsletters, The Carol Wilson Report, Joe McGarvey’s Optical Networking letter, Network Services from Paul Coe Clark III, and TNE Update, are also included in the sale. It was not clear whether the newsletters would continue under the new owners.

Subscribers of TNE can expect to see new marketing messages from Advanstar, which owns some of the oldest trade publications in the country. A spokesman said the plan is to use the TNE list to expand the reach of America’s Network, a 50,000-circulation trade publication that focuses on the telecom industry, including cable TV, wireless and other service providers.

In addition to the 92 business trade publication it owns, Advanstar produces 79 trade shows and conferences, many of them technology-focused. It also sells Internet direct marketing and e-mail products that it uses to support and promote its publications and trade shows.

Some of Advanstar’s titles include “Frontline Solutions” (IT-focused) “Framing Business News” (Art), “Customer Interface Magazine” (Call Centers), and “eLearning Magazine” (Telecom).

As part of the cross-promotion agreement, Advanstar will help promote Ziff Davis Media’s PC Magazine, eWEEK, CIO Insight, and Baseline publications. In return, Ziff’s sales staff will help promote Advanstar’s AIIM, On Demand, ICCM, eLearning, Frontline Solutions, while collaborating on tradeshows and conferences.

“Our alliance with Advanstar will enable us to offer customers the ability to reach purchasing decision makers for public and private networks through a powerful portfolio of media assets,” said Robert F. Callahan, chairman and CEO of Ziff Davis Media.

Robert L. Krakoff, Chairman and CEO, Advanstar Communications, added, “The combination of The Net Economy’s assets with our long-established America’s Network will create a new powerhouse in the telecom sector. Plus, our sales alliance with Ziff Davis Media will provide technology vendors with an unrivaled opportunity to reach their buyers throughout the U.S.”

Ziff Davis Media publishes two of the largest technology magazines in the U.S. PC Magazine and Yahoo! Internet Life; each has a paid circulation greater than one million. It also publishes eWEEK, The Net Economy, CIO Insight, Baseline, Computer Gaming World, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, GameNow, Electronic Gaming Monthly and XBox Nation.

Advanstar is a privately held corporation owned by DLJ Merchant Banking Partners/Credit Suisse First Boston. Until 1987, it was part of the publishing company Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. until it was sold to Edgell Communications. In 1991, the company name was changed to Advanstar Communications Inc.

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