8 thoughts on “How the spirit of Felix Dennis lives on

  1. Jeremy Knibbs

    Jul 10. 2017

    Hi Colin

    I started reading this as if this was a magazine publisher that actually bucked the trend. That grew through the last 8 years or so. But am I right in reading that in 2000 they had sales of $2.6 billion and thousands of employees now their revenues are 100m pounds and 430 employees??? If it’s the former surely this company is ghost of what it once was and got slaughtered along with the rest of them?

    The only primarily magazine based publisher that seems to have managed a successful transition to new models (data and paid for information services) that I know of is Reed Business Information. Still has revenues of around $2b I think and has a much higher profit margin than it used to. And it has no magazines left! Well, I think they may have one or two (New Scientist et al) Not sure how much they lost shimmying themselves out of mags and into data, and it took about 10 years. And they aren’t recognisable really as a magazine group.

    Jeremy

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    • Anonymous

      Jul 11. 2017

      I don’t think this is dennis publishing- it’s never had revenues of $2bn

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  2. Angelo

    Jul 11. 2017

    I’m Angelo Zgorelec, founder of Personal Computer World and Felix’s business partner for a year and a half. This article on him and his legacy is great.

    I would just like to clear up a few things. I started PCW in 1978, and published 16 issues on my own. A large publishing company approached me in mid-1979 with an offer to buy the magazine. On a point of selling to them (literally two days before signing contracts), Felix Dennis approached me with a smaller offer. I knew of Felix and admired him, and preferred his smaller offer and the opportunity to work with him. He bought 70% of PCW in August 1979 for £50,000. A year and half later, he received an offer from VNU and wanted to buy out my remaining 30% of the business. Eventually we came to an agreement and he bought my share for £630,000.

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  3. Paul @ SocialMedia

    Jul 11. 2017

    A fascinating story of an amazing man, thanks for sharing Colin. As an ex ZD & IDG commercial manager I knew his tech mags well and they were always strong performers.

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  4. Angelo

    Jul 12. 2017

    Paul, as a former IDG manager, please allow me to tell you my experience with your founder Patrick McGovern.

    After I published two issues of PCW, he wanted to buy it and therefore invited me to Boston to negotiate. He even waited for me at the airport, relatively humbly dressed, so I mistook him for his chauffeur. He offered me $200,000 and a senior 3 year job at his company in the US with a good salary.

    I refused as I was having fun with my magazine. Two weeks later, he sent his president to London with a better offer. I refused again and soon after he legally tried to force me to change the name of the magazine, as it was clashing with his weekly Computer World. I was stubborn and told him to go ahead. Eventually, we came to the agreement that I would put the word ‘World’ smaller than the rest of the title.

    Afterwards, I met Mr McGovern three times and we had a nice catch up. He is a great guy.

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  7. Linda Swidenbank

    Oct 20. 2017

    I enjoyed this piece, and like you saw the Dennis revenue slide put up at FIPP and was fascinated with the alternative revenues flowing for cars.
    Linda Swidenbank, Consultant: PassionFish

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