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Night of the long knives as Centaur cuts back Design Week, New Media Age and Pitch

And how long will it be before other leading Centaur titles like Marketing Week, Creative Review, The Lawyer and Money Marketing follow Design Week and New Media Age into online-only publishing?

That’s where Design Week and New Media Age are headed anyway while Pitch, the website aimed primarily at ad agencies, has lost all three of its senior journalists – editor Sonoo Singh, deputy editor Louise Jack and star writer David Benady – and is being folded back into Marketing Week.

Other Centaur-ites to be culled include Design Week publisher Declan Gough, NMA publisher Andy Oakes, Creative Review publisher Jessica McDermott and long-serving Creative Review editor Lynda Relph-Knight. Libby Child, publisher of the Lawyer was fired by phone last Friday.

The next big Centaur title most at risk would seem to be Marketing Week as advertising, marketing and media titles have been hammered much harder by the flight to online than financial services or the law, both of which are much more conservative despite their reliance on the internet to keep the money rolling in.

Centaur has already closed Precision Marketing and one or two other small titles and seems to be intent on finding a business to business model built on the modest revenues from online and exhibitions.

The once-mighty Marketing Week is smaller and much less mighty (and profitable) than it once was. Now that classified advertising has largely departed it’s hard to see what future there is for the title in print.

The one flagship Centaur title that definitely wouldn’t work online is glossy monthly Creative Review, which will be a poser for the company at some stage. Maybe it will turn into a quarterly or an annual (by popular demand of course).

These moves will be watched with interest at long-term rival Haymarket, publisher of Campaign and Marketing, which announced recently that it was going to put its Brand Republic website behind a paywall in July.

Marketing Week was Centaur’s first title in the late 1970s, Campaign was Haymarket’s first B2B title in 1960s.

Taking either online only would be a big step but far bigger for Haymarket. The print version of Campaign is still a thoroughly lively organ (most UK admen still think the whole world reads it) but its Campaign Live website is a poor affair, bits of news that can be found on Brand Republic and a line-up of ‘star’ bloggers, some of whom, like Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland, don’t seem to have written for it for years.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

2 comments

  1. Wow. That is without doubt the laziest piece of journalism I can remember reading in a long time. Just a simple call to me, publishing director Sarah Gilchriest or anyone else here at Marketing Week would have ensured you got your facts straight.

    For your information, Marketing Week is in rude health. As is Creative Review. By any measure you wish to use.

    As for your self-congratulatory description of the “once-mighty Marketing Week” (one presumes the golden era coincided with your own time at the helm Stephen), it is clear to me that you don’t see Marketing Week magazine on a regular basis and don’t use our award-winning website. If you did you’d know how stupid you sound to any one of our readers. We’re going from strength to strength.

    Next time you’ve got a story to write about Marketing Week, don’t try and substitute a passing knowledge of how business publishing used to work before the internet existed as expertise. Give me a call and I’ll give you the facts. That part of journalism remains the same as it was in your day.

  2. Can i also add that Lynda Relph-Knight is the long serving editor of Design Week not Creative Review.

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