Trade Publisher Cygnus Lays Off 50, Suspends Four Pubs

modern jeweler.pngCygnus Business Media, the publisher of more than 40 business-to-business trade publications, said today that it has laid off 50 staff members and restructured its sales team in its strongest media sectors.

The staff reductions, which affected the company in all areas including the editorial, sales, sales support and graphic design departments, represent 12 percent of Cygnus’s total workforce, the company said. There is no word on who exactly was let go, so if you have any information, email us or leave a note in the anonymous tip box.

And although magazines like Firehouse and Law Enforcement Technology and their corresponding Web sites continue to thrive — a Cygnus spokesperson said and each get 600,000 unique visitors a month — the company did suspend publication of four underperforming titles.

Cygnus would not confirm which titles were affected, but a source with knowledge of the matter told FishbowlNY that jewelry trades Modern Jeweler and Lustre were going to have their publication suspended, along with RV Trade Digest and Wood Digest.

“The final status of the properties most affected has not yet been determined; however a reduction in frequency of printed issues will occur,” Cygnus said in a statemnet. “Some of our groups are seeing signs that their markets are stabilizing — with requests even coming in for Q4 proposals. That’s a positive sign, similar to what the overall economy might be suggesting. But no one is projecting a rapid turnaround next year. Because of that, the decisions and steps taken today have positioned our operations, to the best of our knowledge and visibility, to remain sound this year and next year, should we not see some improvement in the economy.”

Additionally, Cygnus is restructuring its sales team for the Pavement, Fire and EMS sectors, bringing all operations under one central sales and marketing umbrella. This new approach will allow Cygnus to provide advertisers with a completely integrated program across all of their properties including print, online and trade shows.

Cygnus is also in the midst of a debt-for-equity restructuring, which the company said was unrelated to the staff reductions.

After suspending these four publications and shuttering two photography titles earlier this year, Cygnus currently publishes 44 trade publications in 13 major markets and has 35 Web sites and Web portals. The company also produces 34 trade shows, including some of the biggest in their markets.