The Maverick Who Helped Invent Tech Media

The man who started PC Magazine, Macworld and several other seminal technology magazines passed away a couple weeks ago, and I finally got around to reading the tributes, which I highly recommend. Here's Harry McCracken:

Starting in April 1975, Bunnell edited MITS's newsletter about the Altair, Computer Notes—a periodical that, as far as I know, was the first devoted entirely to the subject of personal computers. He went on to start Personal Computing, one of the first slick magazines on the topic. Then he cofounded both PC Magazine and PC World, the Coke and Pepsi of PC publications. And then Macworld—both the magazine and the trade show. At one point, four of the top 10 computer magazines were ones he'd started, and PC Mag, PC World, and Macworld are all still very much with us in online form.


That magazine—PC Magazine—was such a success that multiple large publishing companies were soon interested in acquiring it. In fact, Bunnell and Woodard thought they'd struck a deal to sell it to Pat McGovernof IDG, publisher of Computerworld and InfoWorld, when they learned that their financial backer had sold it to Ziff-Davis without bothering to tell them. They—and 48 of the magazine's 52 staffers—responded by promptly quitting to found PC World for IDG. Its first issue was so thick with advertising that it set records.

A different time, for sure.


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