June 19, 2014 Last Updated 8:49 am

IDG’s Computerworld to shutter its print edition after 47 years

Publication founded in 1967 with Patrick J. McGovern as its first publisher to go totally digital, relaunching its website later this year

The last print edition of Computerworld will be published June 23, just over 47 years after the first edition of the newspaper was published by International Data Group (IDG) in 1967.

In a post online, Scot Finnie, the publication’s editor, told readers will launch a redesigned website later this year.


Computerworld, circa 1998

“It’s sad to lose anything that has endured so long. But we are merely taking part in the natural evolution of the media industry, like so many great publications before us,” Finnie wrote.

The news comes at an interesting time, what with the industry continuing to argue among itself about the future of print.

Computerworld has maintained a circulation of just over 100,000 and publishes 24 issues a year. The computer magazine started out as a newspaper and was the voice of the IT community for quite a long time. But the dot com boom almost passed the publication right by, with new titles such as The Industry Standard and Business 2.0 getting the lion’s share of the new advertising the resulted. But Computerworld continued on long after the dot come boom busted and many of the new titles launched in the ’90s were shuttered.

But magazines about computers, and IT generally, have lost a lot of advertising over the past decade and many have long decided to shutter their print editions. Making matters worse, Computerworld has not been a serious player in the area of mobile and tablets, letting its vendor launch a replica edition under the vendor’s name in May of 2010, which made it an early adopter, but never launching another, native digital edition under its own.

Had the publication enthusiastically developed for tablets and mobile it might today be able to fall back on its digital editions, but now it is left with a replica app with no print issues to replicate.**

Today there are are four editions of Computerworld inside the Apple Newsstand, but none are for the US edition.

** I get the impression that many publications live in denial of the need to develop for digital platforms right up until the day they are told that they will have to shutter their print edition. If they think not building a native tablet/mobile edition will somehow stop upper management from pulling the plug they are sorely mistaken.

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