Saturday, September 15, 2007

VNU Media sharpens its strategy

VNU Media, the spin-out publishing company of the VNU conglomerate, which turned into Nielsen, has announced the sale of some of her Dutch publications. Earlier the company indicated already that its will diminish her international ambitions by selling foreign subsidiaries. VNU Media wants to position itself as a computer business media company.

The company has announced that it will sell some niche publications, management magazines and some consumer PC magazines. It will sell a stable business title for the fashion world Textilia and Shoevisie to Mybusinsesmedia; Textilia has been a title since the formation of VNU Business Group in the late seventies. The management titles Management Team and Sprout will be sold; Management Team has been in the portfolio since 1986. Consumer titles such as PCM, Computer idee, Power Unlimited and the gadget website Gizmodo, the consumer computer titles will also be abandoned.

With the formation of the new company VNU Media with the assistance of 3i, the company had decided to sell off the UK operation, which was the first international stepping stone for the former VNU conglomerate. Also the companies on the European continent, except for Belgium, are for sale.

The strategy of VNU Media concentrates itself on the B2B market in print and online products in the field of computing as well as the job recruitment market. Textilia and Shoevisie are small and outside the focus of computing; the management and consumer PC products have too little recruitment potential. VNU Media will now focus in The Netherlands on the market of the computing business as far as publications such as Computable, Emerce and the site Tweakers are concerned and on the job recruitment market with the newly acquired Nationale Vacaturebank (National Job recruitment database). Also its flagship Intermediair, a controlled circulation weekly for students and academics and similar titles will continue under the management of VNU Media.

The sale of the magazines will deliver a 20 percent of the turn-over this year. By a fast autonomous growth of the company in slimmed shape, VNU Media should be one year ahead of its financial objective. Already 50 percent of its revenues comes from online sources. The CEO of VNU Media Eric Hoekstra denied in an interview that the changes have been forced upon them by the 3i investment company.

I worked for VNU in the seventies and the eighties; in the eighties I worked for seven years in the VNU Business Group. It looks like VNU Media is back to basics, when they started their internationalisation program in 1980. The only difference is now that they have online sites and databases; in 1980 VNU Business Press Group started its first adventures in online with the acquisition of US company Disclosure and its own media lab VNU Database Publishing International bv (DPI).

Blog Posting Number: 868

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