Oldest computer magazine dies

The oldest popular computing magazine, Computerworld, has shut down its print version after nearly half a century.

IDG’s Computerworld was launched on June 14, 1967 and was touted as the “first newspaper for the full computer community”.

But dead trees will no longer be sacrificed for Computerworld, as editor-in-chief Scot Finnie writes, it will publish its last print edition next week, almost exactly 47 years after the first one appeared. The brand will live on as a website and as a monthly digital magazine.

The move follows the death of Pat McGovern, who started IDG in 1964 as a research firm and put out Computerworld on a shoe string. IDG recently closed PC World as a print edition.

What is surprising many pundits is that Computerworld lasted in print form for so long. Few of the old print magazines are left. Tech news moves so fast the idea of a weekly print magazine giving any current news, or having access to stuff before anyone else, has been eclipsed.

Computerworld might have survived a little longer because it was aimed at IT decision makers in big companies who often wanted more detailed management information which could not be found online. It also did not have to be quite so topical.

We can’t say we are surprised, one thing that is certain is that the days of the print magazine are long gone. But so far no one has worked out a winning way of making useful content for money. The traditional publishing houses are still scratching around looking for a way to sell the news that is profitable.