Penton Media’s IBM i Sites Cease Publication
April 7, 2014 Dan Burger
Penton Media has discontinued its two digital publications for the IBM i community–iProDeveloper and Power IT Pro.
iProDeveloper was a website with technical content for developers on the IBM midrange systems known as the IBM i, System i, iSeries, and AS/400. Prior to the digital version of iProDeveloper, there was a printed magazine version previously titled System iNews, iSeries News, and News/400.
Power IT Pro was a website that expanded the IBM i technical content to include the Power Systems family that includes AIX and PureSystems.
Contributors to the two publications were informed of the decision in an email dated April 1. The email, authored by Megan Keller, Penton’s online training and conference director, informed contributors the company would “no longer be acquiring and posting new content to these websites, or producing an iProDeveloper digital publication.” These moves were explained as allowing the company to “focus more closely on our online training initiatives.”
In recent years, the editorial staff for the IBM i publications was reduced, and advertising sales were outsourced to contract representatives. Several IBM i vendors contacted by IT Jungle last week were unaware that the Penton publications had stopped publishing. Chris Maxcer, the editorial director for these pubs, was laid off April 1. All content on the website has been locked down and the Keller email advised that “we are taking our iProDeveloper and Power IT Pro communities private.”
It is unclear whether that means paid subscribers would have sole access to existing “premium content.” Attempts to obtain additional details from Sanjay Mutha, senior vice president of the Technology Division at Penton, were unsuccessful by the deadline of The Four Hundred.
The historic time line leading up to what became iProDeveloper began with Duke Communications, which started publishing News 3X/400 in the early 1990s. That magazine became News/400, which was sold to Penton Media in 2000, along with a book publishing business called 29th Street Press. News/400 eventually was renamed iSeries News, then System iNews, which was the last of the printed magazines in the lineage. The electronic prodigy was then named iProDeveloper.
Many people in the IBM i community remember Wayne Madden, the longtime publisher of Penton’s IBM i publications and a part of the editorial team from the Duke Communications ownership, parted ways with Penton a little more than a year ago. Madden also served as president of COMMON and was a member of the COMMON board of directors.
Penton Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2010 and reorganized to reduce debt by $270 million, and it remains one of the largest B2B business publishers in the world.