UK construction trade weekly Contract Journal is to shut down at the end of the month.
The news comes as no surprise to anyone who has been monitoring the UK construction press over the past year, and it confirms a prediction made by CIB Communications’ Andy Cassie in February that one major construction title and one architecture title might disappear (see post Testing times for AEC IT magazines?).
The announcement came in an email from parent company Reed Business Information. It said:
… the end of this month will see the closure of Contract Journal and its sister web site www.contractjournal.com. Like the construction contractors it serves, Contract Journal has been hit severely by an unprecedented market recession which has slashed advertising volumes by more than half. The editorial and sales team have reacted superbly to the downturn, producing great content and satisfying the needs of the much smaller advertising base. But despite their efforts, the market is now not large enough to support a large circulation free title. The last issue of Contract Journal will be at the end of the month and Contractjournal.com will close simultaneously. Every effort is being made to redeploy the staff elsewhere at our parent company Reed Business Information (RBI).
Sadly, despite recent debates about balancing digital and online content (see The future of the construction media), RBI clearly sees no point in continuing with its advertising-driven contractor-oriented news and feature content, so the website will also be shut down. Presumably, CJ’s web 2.0 presence (see post) will also either disappear or re-emerge in new guises. I hope Brian Green’s Brickonomics blog continues as a stand-alone project (or maybe Brian will link up with another publication), but I think we will see the demise of the discussion board Construction Space, and the Twitter feed of CJ stories will cease. And as for the Facebook page, who knows?