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In Perspective: What’s the frequency, Kenneth?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 7:21pm
Brian Santo

In 2014, CED will celebrate its 40th year covering...well, an expanding universe of things. Forty years ago, CED had a tidy little focus covering the infant cable TV business, but in the intervening decades, cable companies moved into telephony and Internet access and business services and wireless connectivity and home automation and more. CED has been there all along, chronicling the evolution of cable MSOs and phone carriers and satellite broadcasters into vast communications competitors.

Another big change in recent years is that businesses have been running leaner and leaner. Few companies in or out of the communications business have advertising and marketing budgets as big as they used to be. The dollars that are left are being split between traditional media and newer vehicles like the web and in-house blogs and newsletters.

The inevitable result is that periodicals – magazines and newspapers – wither. There are fewer editors covering this business (at CED or elsewhere), and none of us have the travel budgets to come out and meet with you face to face anywhere near as often as we could have 10 and 20 years ago.

Some of CED’s direct competitors have been subsumed into other outlets, some have evolved (as we are evolving) to provide more web-based and video products, while some have folded outright. Two years ago, CED went from 12 print issues a year to 10, and next year we are going to go down to six, one every two months.

The conventional wisdom is that all this is indication of waning interest in publications, but that is demonstrably not the case. There has been minimal decrease in readership and no decrease in companies’ desire for editorial coverage in CED and other industry papers.

Readers still value periodicals, and I think that’s because we do more than just report on the latest technology and business trends. We are also a forum for people in the industry to communicate with each other, something that cannot be had anywhere outside the occasional annual conference. CED is proud to continue fulfilling all of those needs.

We are cutting the frequency of our print issues, but we won’t be reporting any less.

We might possibly end up writing more, and it will all be supplemented with more video reporting. CED’s daily news, our Broadband Direct e-mail newsletter, will continue to be distributed five days a week. Like you, we’re in the communications business, and if there are new ways to be more effective at helping you get your message out, let’s talk.

Forty years is something to celebrate, and we will. We invite you to join us.

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