Computer Street Journal Fills Computer Periodicals Niche

Article excerpt

What Tom Clark sees in the computer publishing industry is a glut of national magazines and a failure to communicate.

Somewhere beneath the avalanche of publications is an unfilled niche for computer periodicals focused on smaller markets, Clark believes.

""There's an overabundance of computer magazines right now and there's starting to be a shakeout,'' he said. ""All these publications are national in orientation and they don't really deal with a specific metropolitan or geographic area and the news that goes on in that city.''

Clark has launched the Computer Street Journal and plans to carve out a place in high-tech news with a chain of the locally oriented newspapers.

""The community that it serves is the niche.''

He said magazines dealing with all types of computers are suffering but those aimed at special audiences are thriving.

For instance, one of the most successful is a magazine whose niche consists only of owners of the IBM PC computer. Riding the incredible popularity of that machine, the magazine pulls in around $50million in advertising a year, Clark said.

Clark co-founded Publications and Communications Inc. in Austin, Texas, where he lives, and for the past five years helped launch PCI's seven nationally distributed computer publications, aimed at particular markets, like owners of Burroughs computers.

Clark resigned from PCI, retaining an interest, to ""wing this and start a whole chain.'' His first CSJ has survived its six-month trial period in Oklahoma City and is ""starting to do real well.''

Clark said most publications are launched by the entrepreneur ""who gets entrenched in a position where he knows there's a lack of communication. …