CMP's Paul Miller meets the EDA anger ball

Wow. What a night. Hard to know where to begin. Let's start with the good stuff. Paul Miller addressed some 40 people representing the EDA industry to explain what the changes were in CMP and, specifically EE Times.
Miller laid out a vision for modern B2B media that was, well, visionary. He documented the interrelationship between research, events, print and web communication and how CMP plans to integrate all four of those aspects into a unified machine to reach technology customers. He was also very honest about it. He said they may be making a mistake, but only time will tell. I recorded the talk and have asked for the slides and will try to boil it all down in a later post as soon as he gives me approval. If you get a chance to talk to anyone from CMP, take it. This is brave new world stuff.
Then he stayed on the dais and took an hour of questions most of which were negative, occasionally whiny, and once or twice insulting. He handled it quite well. But let's just deal with the big question: Why did they let go of the dean of EDA journalism, Richard Goering and just who the heck do they talk to now to get covered.
The answer was not one thing but many. What it wasn't was an economic reason. CMP has $1 Billion in reserve and is acquiring resources, but having an editor that concentrates on a single industry niche doesn't fit into the plans.
EE Times and CMP are looking at the electronics industry in a much bigger perspective, one where EDA fits but in a much smaller context than what it once enjoyed. He said EDA is not just design tools, but embedded technology and semiconductor IP. He said readership is growing even though print advertising continues to decline.
He was accused of destroying the editorial integrity of EE Times with the changes. In fact, he was accused of removing the "world class" French chefs from the kitchen and replacing them with short order cooks. He said EE Times has let go some great editors but Richard Wallace, Peter Clarke, Rich Nass and Mark Lapedus all have experience in covering the technology that EDA relates to and pointed out that there are 30 editors still working for EE Times worldwide.
Miller was accused of not knowing what his readers really want, but he countered that in 25 years of research, only two editors, Frank Burge and Ghirish Matre, were specifically mentioned as a reason they read EE Times, and Matre hadn't written for the publication for 15 years when he was mentioned.
He was also accused of not knowing just how very important the EDA industry is. He countered, much more diplomatically than this sentence, that EDA as an industry has stepped away from EE Times, not the other way around. Print advertising in EE Times has steadily dropped for the past 7 years and there is virtually no advertising from the EDA industry. But he invited the industry to reengage with them and enjoy the fruits of the future before it's too late.
What was maddening about the Q&A time was the PR professionals complaining that they don't know who to contact at EE Times since Goering was let go. It hasn't been very long but we've found the remaining editorial staff (remember, there are 30 editors there) have been very open to taking calls and emails about clients. Junko Yoshida remains very approachable and helpful in directing calls to appropriate editors. I've been enjoying getting to know Mark Lapedus again and, I'm sorry, the print issue of EE Times is as enjoyable a read as the Economist is right now. I turned to my friend in the midst of the whining and asked, "When the PR people forget that the R in PR means 'relations?'"
The bottom line for the evening is Miller very nicely told an industry that has forgotten how to market itself that the world is changing and is never going to be the same. It pissed off a lot of people, but it doesn't change the fact that he's right.
At the end I told him he was a brave man to stand up and take it like that, but he smiled and said, "It completely met my expectations."
Two bright spots in the crowd were Scott Sandler, CEO of Novas Software, and Sanjay Srivastava, CEO of Denali. Scott's whose question was essentially, "Where do I sign up?" Sanjay said he wanted to hear more. Both of these guys are EDA oddity who believe in marketing. Their companies are making money and are well thought of by their customers. You think there's a connection?
I have an interview with Miller that I did a couple of days before this event and he gives more insight into the plans. That will come up this week, I hope.
This is all really cool stuff. Gives me a lot of hope for the future of media.