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|Editor-in-Chief||John Pallatto (since 2012)|
|Categories||Computer magazine, Business magazine|
eWeek (Enterprise Newsweekly, stylized as eWEEK) is a technology and business magazine, owned by QuinStreet. The magazine was acquired in 2012 by QuinStreet from the company Ziff-Davis, owner of the publication for all of its life up to that point, along with Baseline.com, ChannelInsider.com, CIOInsight.com, and WebBuyersGuide.com.
eWeek was started under the name PCWeek on February 28, 1984. The magazine was called PCWeek all the way up until the year 2000, during which time it covered the rise of business computing in America; as eWeek, it has increased its online presence and covers more kinds of worldwide technologies.
PCWeek was formed under the notion that computers could be used as business tools. The world of personal computing was changing as processing power grew exponentially. This new computational ability made computers a new and very effective business tool, and soon enough all sorts of companies were buying IBM PCs. PCWeek took advantage of this rising popularity by becoming the one stop source for all things business-computing oriented. Important members of the team that started PCWeek were John Dodge, the first news editor, Lois Paul, the first features editor, and Sam Whitmore, the first reporter who later went on to become editor-in-chief.
Although PCWeek's official first publication was February 28, 1984, a "sample version" of the magazine was available at a COMDEX convention in 1983. At the time, the concept of PCWeek was a "radical idea". Few saw any real need for a "weekly news magazine about personal computers" that was business-oriented. In addition, many magazines at the time already covered business computing, such as Datamation and Computerworld. There were also magazines dedicated to hobbyist machines, so it seemed there was no place for a weekly issue to fit in. Once the first few publications came out, it seemed like these initial suspicions had been correct. The first month of weekly issues had only 22 pages of advertising on average, well below industry standard.
After a rocky first few months, things began to turn around. PCWeek began establishing itself as the best source for information on business computing. The magazine started breaking big stories before anyone else would. Such as news on a "new version of the Compaq", the "IBM PC AT", and the new "Intel 80286 processor". The magazine also provided extensive reviews for PCs capable of helping to run businesses. John Pallatto, a writer for PCWeek in its first year, produced a full "buyer's guide" on all DOS-compatible PCs on the market. By the end of the first year, PCWeek's numbers had skyrocketed. The average number of advertising pages for the last month was 74.875. The publication owed its resounding success to the increasing popularity of IBM PCs, but also to their style of reporting. Sam Whitmore describes it as "gritty, kick the door down, break your secret plans" and says that they had "so much fun spoiling people's days". David Strom, the executive editor in charge of "reviews, opinion, and analysis" at the time identified their "direct contact with industry leaders" as part of why they were able to break such killer stories.
PCWeek's audience was also important to their success. Early promotional publications from PCWeek show them describing their key audience as "volume buyers", that is, people and companies that would buy PCs in bulk for business purposes. With this the magazine was able to show big computer companies that advertising in an issue of PCWeek was the best possible way to get their product seen by the biggest and most important buyers.
Following the turn-around success in its first couple of years, PCWeek only got better. Important people involved in between PCWeek's initial success and change to eWeek were David Strom, Sam Whitmore, Mike Edelhart, Gina Smith, Peter Coffee, Paul Bonner, and many others. The team behind the magazine was getting better and better. Jim Louderback, a lab director at PCWeek as of 1991, describes how they were able to "get a product in on Wednesday, [review it], and have it on the front page on Monday" and that "that was something we were the first to do". The publication was "perfectly positioned" to be the source for all information on what PCs were worth looking at for business purposes. They broke stories spoiling products from IBM, Lotus, and others as a result of incredible work by reporters like Gina Smith.
Leading up to its name-change, PCWeek began building an online presence. They were one of the first magazines to do so, and they had reviews about and coverage of the emergence of the World Wide Web that were "ahead of the game". The switch to the name eWeek and an even greater online presence was overseen by Eric Lundquist, editor-in-chief at the time.
PCWeek evolved as the whole PC Industry evolved. The early success of the IBM PC and the Visicalc and Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet programs gave PCWeek the coverage they needed to get on their feet. The magazine also developed a very active audience of people telling the team at PCWeek "about their experiences, good and bad, as they worked with the products". So PCWeek was also able to evolve with feedback from their active readers.
In the 21st century, business PCs have gone from "supporting" businesses to "driving" them, and there's been an increasing need for "unbiased, expert testing of the technology". eWeek has become much more oriented towards "Lab-based product evaluation" as a result of this. In terms of news, eWeek now covers all different sorts of tech, and they focus mainly on things like cloud computing, mobile technology, data center and infrastructure, security and enterprise applications, as well as IT careers and leadership information.
eWeek has stated their mission as hoping to provide technology decision-makers with a mix of breaking news, analysis, trends, and reviews to help them make educated IT buying decisions.
PCWeek had a key influence on the PC Industry that it covered. The magazines success contributed to the success of business PCs just as the success of business PCs contributed to the success of PCWeek. Following the magazine's success, "Anybody who had anything to do with buying PC products in a corporate environment" sought after access to a PCWeek subscription. John Pallatto characterizes the rise of PCs in 1985 as a "social phenomenon", and says that "the most sought-after status symbol on Wall Street in 1985... was the key to unlock the power switch on an IBM PC AT". It is also said that "in those early days", PCWeek could help make a small startup "PC maker" or "software developer" successful with only "a few column inches of editorial".
The stories PCWeek covered were also important, and ended up having noticeable effects on the industry. Each issue would break stories that would completely spoil the secret plans of some big tech company, resulting in faster adoption of new technologies as information was spread about them before they were even out. One story from PCWeek that is well known is their coverage of "the famous 1994 flaw in the numerical processor in Intel's Pentium chip". The news they broke on Intel's processor, along with other research, cause Intel to actually pull back and fix their chips before offering new ones. Another famous part of PCWeek was the fictional gossip columnist by the name of "Spencer F. Katt". The column would cover all sorts of rumors and gossip about the PC Industry, and the character of Spencer F. Katt became a famous icon of the entire world of computing.