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Archive for May 4th, 2009 1105 GovInfo lays off two more… and 1105 looks online

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It has been a tough period for all media, particularly print media. And that has included the government press.

It has been a tough 18 months for the 1105 Government Information Group. It has been tough going for all media outlets, but… it has been particularly tough for 1105, it seems. [Editor’s note: 1105 Media is my former employer when I was the editor in chief of Federal Computer Week.] After the hope that came from 1105 Media’s 2006 buy of the PostNewsweek TechMedia properties — Government Computer News , Washington Technology, Defense Systems , and the FOSE trade show — but the bad economy across the board has arguably hit 1105 harder then others.

And late last month, it trimmed its staff even more — the latest round of several staff reductions.

Late last month, the 1105 Government Information Group laid off Patrick Marshall, who most recently had served as GCN’s technology editor. Marshall, who was based in Seattle, was a long time employee who had been with Federal Computer Week for years. He moved to GCN soon after the FCW-GCN merger.

1105 also laid off Domonique Saunders, a sales coordinator. 1105 also decided to leave at least one vacant position unfilled.

There is also the looming question of whether 1105 will fill the vacancy left when FCW reporter Mary Mosquera left to join Government Health IT magazine.

Just about everybody at 1105 says morale is pretty low. Unfortunately, that’s true in most of journalism these days.

I should note that I hear that the FOSE trade show did better then had been expected. There had been dire predictions for FOSE, particularly given some of the industries biggest players decided to pass this year, including marketing trend-setter CDW-G. (More on the Amtower take on FOSE here.) Yet, by combining FOSE with the Government Security Expo, which 1105 has also purchased, it ended up doing well. FOSE also wisely teams with many of the groups in this market — including having a panel that I moderated on government 2.0 for ACT/IAC. But there was also an AFFIRM panel moderated by my Federal News Radio colleague Tom Temin. They drew people who might not have otherwise come to FOSE — and many of those people made their way to the trade show floor. So… most of the vendors I spoke to were actually pleased.

Meanwhile there was a meeting of 1105 leadership — including 1105 GovInfo president Anne Armstrong and 1105 GovInfo Editorial Director David Rapp — were out in Las Vegas last week, reportedly honing a online strategy. Many people — both inside and outside the organization — have been surprised that 1105GovInfo , which include the leading government IT publications, seem to have no online focus. Senior company officials have acknowledged to me that rebuilding an online strategy is a top goal. Many people are guessing that the meeting in Vegas was the latest step in that effort — and they are guessing that whatever happened in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing that Federal Times is also having troubles. There had been talk that the publication was moving to a four-day week. Senior people at the paper deny that. That being said, the publication just doesn’t have many ads most weeks.

Written by cdorobek

May 4, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Posted in press