The bids for MediaWeb’s properties, including screen-specific publications Onfilm and The Data Book, close on Thursday. Just to throw a spanner in the works late in the process, StopPress is carrying a story about a leaked email which suggests the owners of MediaWeb have been less than straightforward in their dealings with the receivers.
There’s suggestion of a number of irregularities and use of the word “dishonesty”, but no indication that any of the allegations relate directly to either of the publications noted, nor to AdMedia. Much of what’s reported relates to Management magazine.
Trying to determine what value there is the various publications is difficult with what’s possibly inaccurate and incomplete information floating around.
Whether the publications will attract offers as a stable is unclear. There’s certainly archival value in Onfilm, but whether that value is emotional or financial is open to debate. It’s hardly a good time to be a print publication. Onfilm never developed a successful online strategy, despite some effort by longtime editor Nick Grant.
Similarly The Data Book has some value – but it’s real value is in being current. There’s a considerable cost awaiting the buyer to bring it up to date, and then to keep it that way.