The Trend of Non-Publishers Owning Print and Online Magazines Continues

What makes a publisher?

j2 Global Inc, a provider of business cloud services, has acquired Ziff Davis Inc, the venerable publisher of PC MAGAZINE (now PCMag.com), COMPUTER SHOPPER (now ComputerShopper.com), ExtremeTech.com, Toolbox.com and Geek.com.

“We have years of experience and significant interest in the digital media and online marketing space, both as a large scale consumer of advertising (~$50M per year) and as a seller of advertising on our ad supported properties (e.g. eFax Free) and a provider of marketing and advertising services through Campaigner®,” said Hemi Zucker, j2’s chief executive officer in a press release.

The financial website TheStreet.com reported that at least one analyst sees the deal as a shrewd move. “This acquisition represents a nice tangential growth opportunity for j2, as the company looks to expand its marketing and cloud-services segment over the coming years,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said in a note. “We also believe Ziff offers the company additional cross-sell opportunities for j2’s core fax product, given its strong marketing presence.”

But does that make j2 Global a publisher? Only time will tell, of course, but until then we remain skeptical.

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