HR Publication Workforce Management Sold to MediaTec Publishing

Workforce Management magazine, one of the oldest publications covering human resources and talent management, has been sold by Crain Communications to MediaTec Publishing for an undisclosed amount.

Chicago-based MediaTec publishes Chief Learning Officer, Talent Management and Diversity Executive magazines and operates the online industry resource HumanCapitalMedia.com. According to Crain’s announcement of the deal, MediaTec intends to integrate Workforce Management and its website, workforce.com, “into its Human Capital Media Group which will help it to become the premier multi-platform media company providing thought leadership, news and analysis across the entire hire-to-retire spectrum.”

Originally published in 1921 as the Journal of Personnel Research, Workforce Management was acquired by Detroit-based Crain Communications in July of 2002. Crain, a trade magazine publisher of titles such as Advertising Age, Modern Healthcare, Automotive News, and Crain’s Chicago Business, moved Workforce from its longtime Southern California base to Chicago in the summer of 2010.

(Full disclosure: I was the top editor and directed all content at Workforce Management and workforce.com from September 2004 until April 2010.)

“One of the most respected” trade periodicals

“This has been a very difficult decision because we know it affects the lives of people and their families but in the competitive business-to-business media environment that we operate in we need to aggressively manage our family of brands for the long term,” said President Rance Crain., in a press release about the sale. “Workforce remains one of the most respected and continuously published trade periodicals in the country and we believe it can thrive under MediaTec’s broader platform of human capital management publications and brands.”

“We are extremely enthusiastic about this expansion of the Human Capital Media Group,” said Norm Kamikow, MediaTec president and editor in chief. “The addition of Workforce Management significantly broadens and deepens our portfolio of media assets and strengthens our ability to offer meaningful content that positively impacts the industry from the C-suite to the frontlines. Its timely and news-driven coverage of key business stories from an HR perspective provides the tactics, trends and tools organizations of all sizes need to maximize and manage human capital assets.”

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Workforce Management and its website, wwww.workforce.com, suffered from a substantial drop in advertising revenue as a result of the recession and the overall change in reading habits that has impacted nearly all print media and related products. Workforce‘s revenues fell in 2009 as the recession took hold and reportedly are now at less than half of what they were at the peak.

Magazine will continue to be based in Chicago

Workforce Management magazine publishes monthly with a controlled circulation of about 50,000. It’s website, workforce.com, has about 360,000 registered users.

MediaTec says it will integrate Workforce into its offices in Chicago that are just a few blocks away from where the publication is currently located. The Crain press release also says that “the majority of Workforce’s employees will be offered employment opportunities with MediaTec. Crain is committed to assisting impacted employees to ensure a smooth transition. It’s expected that the transition and complete integration will take 60 days to complete.”

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.

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