They Might Be Giants
"Computer Shopper is the biggest magazine in the world," declares Al DiGuido, the magazine's executive vice president and group publisher. The conspicuous bulk of the publication itself—a monthly that weighs over five pounds an issue, boasting 900 to 1,000 pages and up to 750 ads—lends credence to his claim.
A READER who picks up Computer Shopper for the first time is likely to be overwhelmed by both the publication's physical weight and the sheer volume of information that is included in each issue.
When it comes to computer products purchasing, Computer Shopper, published by Ziff-Davis, a Softbank company based in New York City, tells all—what's available, what's popular and what's preferred—as well as where and how to buy hardware, software and peripherals (e.g., monitors, printers and keyboards). Currently, more than 3.14 million readers turn to the magazine to buy PC products direct.
The Computer Shopper title includes the regular monthly issues plus four annual supplements: What's Hot, out at the beginning of each year; The Top 100 (PCs, peripherals, and software packages in the direct channel), in October; The Upgrade Guide, September; and The Holiday Guide, November/December.
If They Build It…
Computer Shopper's production department comprises half a dozen ad coordinators, a production manager, a production director, a layout administrator, an electronic output and files manager, and four people to oversee the Product Index (30 to 40 pages in each issue), according to Production Director Jack Degnan.
Staff members take advantage of digital prepress technologies to facilitate the production workflow. "All of our editorial (work) is done electronically," Degnan states. "And we have an ISDN line to send files digitally to the printer."
Prepress production for advertising, however, is still very much an analog process. "We don't use any electronic files for ads," he says. "Everything that we receive is in traditional format, such as negatives and mechanicals."