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ITWeb closes Digital Life mag, cancels DL Expo

ITWeb, the publishers of lifestyle and consumer technology magazine Digital Life, has suspended the publication. ITWeb also publishes technology website ITWeb and the IT industry magazines Brainstorm and iWeek, and Digital Life represented its foray into consumer publishing. The Digital Life Expo, scheduled for the beginning of November 2010, has also been cancelled.
In a note to subscribers on Tuesday, 20 July 2010, ITWeb group circulation manager Carrie-Ann Roberson wrote that it was not a decision taken lightly. "After four years in an increasingly difficult market, and after much thought and deliberation, we could not see a way forward for the publication," Roberson told subscribers. "It was thus decided to shut down the magazine, effective immediately."

Magazine's last

This means that the June/July issue is the magazine's last. The title originally launched as Unwired magazine in October 2006.

Jovan Regasek, ITWeb MD, confirmed that it was no longer economically viable to continue publication. "As opposed to our established media platforms, Digital Life was too weak to survive the adverse conditions in the South African print media space," he told BizCommunity.

According to Regasek, Digital Life found it hard to penetrate the established retail distribution chains and consequently failed to build a significant readership.

The closure of Digital Life means ITWeb will probably exit the consumer magazine space permanently. "ITWeb is a B2B publisher. With our diverse media platforms, we dominate business technology media space in the country," says Regasek.

"Burnt our fingers a bit"

"Our strategy was to diversify into the consumer technology space, but we burnt our fingers a bit. We are not closing the door, but our next move is definitely not going to be made in a rush. Our strategy is not to swap the platforms and continue Digital Life online. Our decision is to deploy the Digital Life skills into ITWeb online in order to add a new dimension to our flagship product - lifestyle technology content."

ITWeb's editorial director, Ranka Jovanovic, also confirmed that ITWeb will be strengthening its coverage of consumer technology on the site.

According to Regasek, the Digital Life website, www.mydl.co.za, won't be affected by the magazine's closure, but the Digital Life Expo, which was scheduled for the beginning of November, has been cancelled. ITWeb will review its position on the Digital Life expo early next year.

Two retrenchments

Regasek confirmed two retrenchments as a result of the magazine's closure, while other staff members have been redeployed within the company.
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About Herman Manson: @marklives

The inaugural Vodacom Social Media Journalist of the Year in 2011, Herman Manson (@marklives) is a business journalist and media commentator who edits industry news site www.marklives.com. His writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines locally and abroad, including Bizcommunity.com. He also co-founded Brand magazine.