Saturday, March 01, 2008

CMP fades away in the US

I have to say that David Levin, United Business Media's CEO, continues to rise in my estimation. Not only is he a mini-rugby coach, but he caught the entire US media watching industry on the hop yesterday when announcing the restructuring of CMP Media there.

There had been some breathless anticipation of the announcement of a new CEO, following Steve Weitzner's departure to Ziff. Nobody had anticipated the break-up of the business into four units, each with a CEO reporting directly to Levin and the dropping of the CMP the US at least. Although the CMP name originated in the Manhasset, LI business acquired by United back in 1999, it will now only live on in the UK with CMP Information and at CMP Asia. I gather there are no plans for now to drop it in the rest of the world.

United also reported solid numbers yesterday. That's good for me. As a former employee, I retain a very small shareholding in the company. The market liked the results and bucked an ugly day in London (the FTSE was down 1.36%) with a 1.13% increase.

UBM says that "CMP Asia delivered another strong performance in 2007 with underlying revenue up 10.7% and underlying operating profits up 11.4%". I'm not sure how currencies are treated in the mystery calculation which is "underlying revenue" but, given that most of CMP Asia's business is basically linked to US dollars and that UBM reports in sterling, it looks as though they've done pretty well.

Update: Some don't like him though. The US bits of UBM (formerly Miller Freeman) have never really felt comfortable with their British CEOs. This Media Wire Daily piece is especially snitty, asking "Is David Levin the cancer that slowly be killing CMP?". The writer concludes "We think we're going to launch a "Fire David Levin" or a "David Levin is bad for B2B" campaign". Ho, Ho. Just graduated from the student newspaper did we? How very amusing.

The first comment puts this genius in his place: "That's an irresponsible headline, If it were me, I'd sue for libel. Also, as somebody with a ground-level view at UBM, I'd say you really haven't done much homework".

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