It's undeniable that others will try to read into the closure of CPO Agenda as an indictment about the death of traditional media. In a comment on Peter Smith's post Pete Loughlin opines that "it's the 21st century and 'push' media – paper publications, TV and radio – are giving way to 'pull' media – online content largely created by those who sponsor community behavior. Old world publications talked at their target audience. The new world success stories are created by the target audience."
A thoughtful perspective, but not one I completely agree with. Consider how Supply Chain Management Review is doing great under new ownership even though it maintains a traditional publishing model. In contrast to Pete's view, I think CPO Agenda failed for a simple reason: it wasn't worth reading anymore. What was once an elite publication rotted away once its publishers and parent (CIPS) brought in a new editor who failed to keep the content lively. Moreover, as CPO Agenda declined, Procurement Leaders began to take off globally as a print, online, events and membership organization. If there's one proxy publication that picked up the pieces as CPO Agenda crumbled, it was definitely Procurement Leaders.
As Peter Smith observes:
Certainly, some of that initial academic focus [of CPO Agenda] dissipated over the years. In more recent times, there seemed to be more articles that could have been 'standard' Supply Management pieces, and more roundtable discussions and similar features (sponsored by a friendly solution provider). Now maybe that's because there is less interesting academic work being done in the profession – or fewer academics willing to write about it. My view is that there are more procurement academics around than ever...
And indeed, there are! They're just finding other outlets -- from Supply Chain Management Review to Procurement Leaders to Spend Matters -- to voice their ideas. The most important lesson of the demise of CPO Agenda is that content is king. And in today's transparent market, executives and advertisers will quickly stop paying for something that is not delivering comparative value to other sources of information and advertising. It's trade publication Darwinism, pure and simple.