Nielsen online publication suggests editorial restructuring

Thursday, October 2, 2008

By: Allison McNeal

Print publications are moving towards consolidating their major companies to impliment a new content strategy.

Nielsen Business Media recently stated that they are starting a company restructuring, which would consolidate editorial staffs.

One proposal for the company restructuring is to merge Nielsen's Adweek, Mediaweek, and Brandweek magazines to increase sales and boost revenue.

According to, this company restructuring could mean that layoffs are going to be imposed for a second time this year.

Nielsen layoffs have been ongoing since April because of the enormous amount of debt the company has consumed in 2007 and 2008. The company reportedly had "revenues of $4.7 billion in 2007, an increase of about seven percent over the previous year," said "The company’s total debt, however, was $8.25 billion on Dec. 31, with cash balances of $399 million."

The organization also had to scale back its print from 47 issues to 36 because of the restructuring.

Nielsen's Web site,, also has been redesigned to appeal to consumers. The Web site now has longer features and more marketing ideas embedded in the site.

Sabrina Crow, Nielsen's Business Media Group senior vice president of marketing and media, states how they are trying to appeal to more consumers.

"This is a rapidly changing industry, and we are staying ahead of the marketplace by delivering the two things our audiences want and need: instant news and thoughtful opinion," Crow said.

She also stated that “we are moving with our audience as they evolve and are maximizing the value we provide our community by delivering [online] content [every day]."

As Nielsen and other companies are revamping their organizations, a primary factor is the audience and what they should get out of the publications.

Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor of NYU's graduate interactive telecommunications program, expanded on how media organizations try to appeal to the average users as a whole, instead of focusing on people as individuals. He also goes on to explain how companies are underestimating the power of their audience and their creavity.

The decision of companies embracing their audience was one topic that we discussed in class and raises the question of what would online newspaper and magazine companies do without input and creativity from individuals? These organizations rely on individual opinion and would want to restructure their company to please their viewers.


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