United Business Media plc said it plans to break its U.S.-based CMP Technology publishing and events business into four independent entities as part of an ongoing restructuring of the group.
David Levin, chief executive officer of UBM said the restructuring was part of the company's transition into a "next-generation media company."
The four companies—TechWeb, Everything Channel, TechInsights and Think Services—would each have their own board of directors and be headed by a chief executive officer reporting directly to Levin.
The companies would, however, share several administrative and some sales functions servicing global accounts provided through the parent company, UBM said in a statement.
"Each of the operations within CMP has been successfully serving its specific markets, but going forward, as independent and focused businesses, they will be able to get even closer to their audiences and customers, developing products and services for these communities faster and with focus," Levin said in a statement.
Company executives told employees during an internal conference call that the restructuring was not intended to prepare the units for a possible spin off or sale.
All the units had in the past gone through extensive product and services realignment in response to sliding print advertising revenue.
UBM said it spent more than $225 million on a bunch of acquisitions over the last years to expand its offerings and as part of plans to increase the portion of revenue generated from online, events and other conferences.
In 2007, UBM said it increased the percentage of revenue generated from non-print sales to 38.3 percent, down sharply from as high as 75 percent in 2004.
Other services, including conferences, events and online sales now account for a major chunk of the company's revenue, it said in a statement.
The breakup of CMP Technology also follows a months-long search for a new CEO following the departure of former head Steve Weitzner who left CMP to join rival Ziff Davis Enterprise,
Rather than appoint a new CEO for CMP, the parent company is pushing for autonomy for the different operating units.
TechWeb, the largest of the four businesses and which reported 2007 revenue of $148 million will be led by Tony Uphoff as CEO
The next largest new business unit on a revenue basis would be TechInsights, formerly CMP's electronics group led by CEO Paul Miller who has over the last months cobbled together a bunch of acquisitions, including Semiconductor Insights, into a business with 2007 revenue of $83 million.
TechInsights is also the publisher of EETimes.
Everything Channel with $73 million in annual revenue and led by CEO Robert Faletra was the former CMP's channel group and publisher of CRN and VARBusiness.
Think Services was formerly CMP's Game, Dr. Dobb's and International Customer Management Group, led by Philip Chapnick who now assumes the title of CEO of the new company.
Think Services had $61 million in revenue for 2007.
UBM said it also appointed Scott Mozarsky, the former CMP's chief financial officer, as chief operating officer for the support functions—finance, IT services, legal and global account and sales management—to be shared by the four separate businesses.