Industry in denial

I got a few emails today asking to confirm the possibility that Reed is hiring a replacement to Mike Santarini. At the basis of this rumor is the belief that Santarini was let go because he pissed off too many mucky mucks in EDA and Reed, in an act of contrition, fired the journalist.

If that was true, then why let go of Maury Wright, Alan Robinson and Barbara Couchois?

Here's the scoop: Print advertising revenues are dropping, even though readership is climbing. Readers don't pay for the magazine. Advertising does. Even though online revenues are climbing, they are still only a fraction of the whole. You remember the writers' strike? Guess what is the cash cow for Reed? Variety magazine, which gets a whole bunch of money from advertising for the Golden Globes, Peoples Choice and Oscar awards season. That didn't happen this year because of the writers' strike. Add to that the declining revenue in tech advertising and you have a perfect financial storm.

Right now, Reed is in a hiring freeze right now as they court potential buyers for the RBI division, of which EDN is a part. No one is being hired to do anything. If Mike's primary beat -- Electronic Design Automation (EDA) -- is going to get coverage, it will be in the spare time of the remaining EDN staff.

The people spreading this rumor are in the EDA industry, which is trying to figure out why no one in the media likes them anymore. Rather than take responsibility for killing their own media by not supporting it, they are trying to lay the blame on the messengers.

EDA companies say they want the media to perform the same kind of analysis and insight they had 10 years ago, but they don't want to pay the cost of having qualified journalists perform the service. They say they are tired of seeing regurgitated press releases on websites, but they don't even pay for qualified communicators to craft those releases.

They're cheap. They've lost the ability to create anything truly innovative. They've lost the only way to really find out what the market wants. They crow about a 2 percent growth potential in the next year, that's going to have to be cut because their customers are cutting their estimates.

Time to wake up an smell the coffee. Get it straight, folks. Your media is dying because you are no longer supporting it. You've created an unholy mess by demanding something for nothing and now you are getting exactly what you deserve.