November 3, 2014 Last Updated 12:40 pm

CNET goes retro, launches quarterly print magazine

The reader comments on the CNET story about their new print magazine are amusing, to say the least. Or should we say that the web readers are not amused.

CNET, a CBS owned tech website, said today that it would launch a print magazine, published quarterly.

CNET-mag-print“Surprised? That’s the point” editors Lindsey Turrentine and Connie Guglielmo wrote online. “While others are running away from print, we’re embracing it to do what we’ve always done — tell stories in fun and compelling new ways.”

“This is content you don’t get online,” Turrentine said on CBS This Morning.

“There is no consumer tech magazine on the market today,” said Guglielmo on the same show.

Well, so much for credibility.

Readers of the website had a good time with the launch news: “CNET, you’ve jumped the shark!” wrote one reader.

On the cover of the first issue is LL Cool J, which tells you the magazine is not exactly going for techies, but consumers, in general – and that is consistent with CNET’s reputation. (One of its lead stories right now is “how Steve Jobs rescued Apple from the brink” – like no one knows about that).

The magazine will be sold for $5.99, and readers can buy both the Winter and March issues for $8.99. Beyond that, the company doesn’t seem to be committing. Good idea.

What CNET really seems to be doing, of course, is publishing a SIP (special interest publication) on a quarterly basis to attract advertising and fill a hole in the newsstands that are now missing magazines like Macworld, and others. According to the NYT, the magazine has attracted ads from AT&T, Ford, Gillette, and others.

But drop the bit about print, I know few digital publishers who don’t also love print. The notion that digital publishers disparage print is an invention of editors like those at CNET, not something I see and read from digital publishers.

  • Joshua Gary 3 years ago

    You are dead on with the last comment here. While not exactly thriving, print magazines are extremely important to the media ecosystem, and still cherished by millions. As Time Inc states on their website, shown here (http://www.timeinc.com/brands/people/) a copy of People magazine is purchased every 1.5 seconds. On our website you will find lots of great “MagNuggets” about the print magazine business.