About a week ago, people working for electronic design automation (EDA) companies got a nasty surprise. EETimes had decided to lay off the leading journalist writing about EDA. Over 17 years, Richard Goering developed a formidable reputation in the sector to the point where if he didn't write about something in EDA it probably didn't happen. It was part of a larger programme of layoffs at publisher CMP Technology that also led to the departure of editor-in-chief Brian Fuller.
Across its IT and electronics publications, CMP is losing about 200 people. However, EETimes took some heavy hits. The EDA people, in particular, did not respond well to the cuts, understanding that the journalist who put the subject of EDA on the front page many times would be gone by the end of June.
"Are regurgitated press releases the future of EDA 'news' now?" asked engineering consultant John Cooley at his Deepchip site, which has become the best water cooler for chip designers currently online. At that site, Gloria Nichols of Launch Marketing, a PR, wrote: "I am trying to figure out how we are going communicate EDA's 'value' to the outside world when our independent, credible sources are shrinking."
However, Vitalcom's Lou Covey, another PR, pointed out an uncomfortable truth: the publisher did not see EDA coverage as a generator of ad sales. In a conversation with one of the managers at CMP, he was told: "Lou, we can no longer support industry segments that fail to produce a discernible revenue stream."