Tech site CNET to launch print magazine

The move paints the CBS Interactive-owned publication as ‘a brand making a very bold decision,’ according to one advertiser.

A website—particularly one that focuses on technology—announcing that its big project for the last quarter of 2014 is launching a print magazine almost sounds like the setup for a joke. What’s next? Articles on stone tablets?

That’s kind of the whole idea behind CNET‘s new quarterly magazine.

“Surprised? That’s the point,” CNET editors-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine and Connie Guglielmo wrote in a Monday blog post. “While others are running away from print, we’re embracing it to do what we’ve always done—tell stories in fun and compelling new ways.”

The move to enter the world of print, where publishers have been struggling for years, certainly grabbed the attention of the news media, with articles appearing in The New York Times, Fast Company, and Mashable, among other publications.

In the Times article, Jim Lanzone, president and chief executive of CBS Interactive, which owns CNET, stressed that print is one part of a multiplatform puzzle, saying “we know the audience wants to experience CNET in multiple ways.”

John Lisko, executive communications director at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, called the choice to publish a magazine “a brand making a very bold decision.”

It isn’t clear whether the magazine will have legs—newsstand magazines sales dipped 12 percent in the first half of 2014—but CBS and CNET seem to be doing a good job of making the jump to print seem like a positive. What could have been a joke is instead a “bold decision.”

What do you think, PR Daily readers? Is CNET rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Topics: PR

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