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Thursday, October 06, 2005

B2b, Geography and DC 

KC a hub for trade publications

Nice little piece from the Kansas City Star (reg. req) on the many b2b media companies that can be found in the Kansas City area, hooked to the completion of the acquisition of Primedia Business, which is based in the KC suburb of Overland Park. It's worth a read (click the link above and register), if only for the generally positive and mostly accurate view of b2b media, something I find rarely in the consumer press.

Blogger Paul Conley and I have posted before on certain favorite locations for b2b companies, mine being Cleveland and Duluth and his being the Berkshires. (He's got better taste than I, evidently).

According to the Kansas City Star, KC ranks as one of the top five metro areas for b2b media, the others being New York, Chicago, Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Given my penchant for b2b geography, I began to wonder why my decade-long adopted metro area, Washington DC, wasn't listed among the top five. It's probably because the list of top 12 b2b media companies, "with revenues ranging from $40 million to more than $600 million," published at the end of the article (with information evidently supplied by ABM) somehow excluded a little known DC-based b2b publishing company called Hanley something or other.

Which got me to thinking, of course. The DC metro area has always suffered in comparison to New York in just about everything, at least as far as New Yorkers are concerned. But there is something of a thriving b2b community here. Hanley-Wood is the biggest example, and perhaps represents the very top end of b2b quality anywhere in America. But we're also home to Access Intelligence (the former Phillips Business Information, where I worked), which has suffered a lot over the past few years, but now appears to be pumping along, with combined revenues (when you add in the Chemical Week merger and recent acquisitions) that have to be north of $40 million, unless I'm missing something. There's Post Newsweek Tech Media. We're also home to IMAS Publishing Group. We've got BNA, Army Times Publishing, King Publishing, Warren Communications News Inc, and more.

We're also home to a fine custom publishing house, The Magazine Group.

And this doesn't even account for the fact that you can hardly walk three feet in DC without tripping over an association magazine, something which is usually pretty embarrassing.

I'd say we have to at least be nibbling at the top 5 in terms of b2b media markets, as if that matters.

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