Ziff Davis Media Files for Chapter 11; Ziff Davis Enterprise is Separate Entity in Stronger Position

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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New York – Ziff Davis Media Inc., publisher of PC Magazine and Electronic Gaming Monthly magazines, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 5, citing decreased print advertising and subscription revenues.  In the court filing, ZDM reported about $500 million in debt and $313 million worth of assets at the close of 2007. ZDM’s total annual revenues, once at a high of $300 million in 2001, slid to $76 million in 2007. Jason Young, CEO, said a restructuring agreement would help resolve the burden of a debt load and capital structure established seven years ago during a leveraged buyout of the company. An ad hoc group of senior secured note holders agreed to pay up to $24.5 million to fund ZDM’s operations during and after the Chapter 11 case.

The filing has caused some confusion in the industry over  Ziff Davis Media (ZDM) and Ziff Davis Enterprise (ZDE).  ZDM sold ZDE, which included some of the company’s top performers, in July 2007 to Insight Venture Partners, a leading private equity investor focused on the software and internet market.  Insight Venture Partners  has  $3 billion in committed capital.  ZDE’s top brands are  eWeek, CIO Insight and Baseline magazines and their web sites; digital and face-to-face events such as The CIO Summit and The Security Summit; and a 3.5-million name customer database. Steve Weitzner, CEO of ZDE, noted, “We are well-funded and continually investing in infrastructure and innovation that best serves our customers. Thanks to our parent, Insight Venture Partners, we have significant investment capital at our disposal.”

Steve Weitzner, CEO of Ziff Davis Enterprise, shares his thoughts and strategies in a cover story coming up in the April issue of Trade Show Executive.