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February 20, 2009

Execs resign as Inquirer.net folds back to PDI

Based on accounts from several reliable sources, the operations of online publication Inquirer.net will be folding back and joining the Philippine Daily Inquirer publication anytime now.

inquirer netThe site Inquirer.net will not be closing down, contrary to earlier rumors but will be consolidated with the operations of the print publication. Although the Inquirer.net team has not yet moved offices, the status of this consolidation is still “on hold”.

Several key people have already resigned from the team, including Editor-in-Chief JV Rufino and VP & Executive Editor Leo Magno, a couple of weeks ago.

Apparently, the online advertising business model that Inquirer has been swimming on in the last decade didn’t really pan out. While operations grew and content creation expanded to web videos and a blog network, the ad money wasn’t enough to sustain the business. Some part-time bloggers in the Inquirer Blog Network were also asked to stop writing a few weeks back.

Inquirer.net used to be Inq7.net which is a joint venture between PDI and GMA 7 until the latter bolted off of the partnership to put up its own website, GMA-News.tv. Inquirer.net is the top online destination in the Philippines and this development could have a huge impact in the online publishing industry in the Philippines.

Inq7 getting too crowded.
The case of Yema and MarketManila

43 Responses to “Execs resign as Inquirer.net folds back to PDI”

  1. When I was still with Sun.star, Inq7.net was one of our benchmarks, we would continually strive to match their traffic and the speed of their news delivery as well as quality. Having the best as the leader of the pack and a direct competitor brings everyone to higher level. It would be ashame if quality of service will degrade with the folding back to PDI.

  2. artist_ako says:

    HAHAHAHAH si MARVIN may pa internet 101 pa nalalaman akala mo sino magaling. bayaran mo na muna yung mga utang mo sa mga credit card company bago ka magmagaling dyan. Hanggang ngaun may tumatawag dito sa office hinahanap ka :P

  3. Liza Caña says:

    When I heard that JV Rufino have already resigned from INQUIRER.net, this is really a bad and sad news for the company. I’m formerly intern and Editorial Assistant for almost 5 years at INQ7.net (known now as INQUIRER.net).

    JV Rufino, our EIC, is a very dedicated man to his work. Not only in Editorial dept but also for the whole company. With the help of our editors, from morning, mid and night shifts, I can say that no one can ever beat the team and will satisfy your knowledge on news in any part of the world using your computer and cellphones.

    I guess, this is a BIG trial for the company. And I hope, from my former colleagues and friends in INQUIRER.net, is to find a way again to have the success for the company. I agree with Leo Santos, the company had tremendous potential. Don’t let the company down as many are wishing it to fall.

  4. manu
    Twitter: planetoverhaul
    says:

    Whew! This is really one huge news!

  5. “Let be by-gots be by-gots.” – Anonymous

  6. marvin says:

    the grapes are sour when i tasted them.

  7. Yao says:

    Wow, this is really a big blow in the internet industry and ang dami pala issue na lumalabas sa organization na ito. Pati utang na kalkal na. tsk tsk. Anyway its a tragic day for all of us.

  8. Marlon says:

    I ve been reading news in this site for 5 years. Its sad that it will all come down to this.The site served as the link between Filipinos abroad and our country. The contents were rich but lately the site became like an online GUADALUPE BILLBOARDS. Instead of improving they have gone backwards, design wise and features wise.

    Just a side comment who is this marvin guy keeps on posting? Is this the culprit who took this once great company into its fall? It seems some people here knows him well.

  9. Gina Tan says:

    Contrary to most of the comments I read below, the article above says “Inquirer.net WILL NOT BE CLOSING DOWN but will be consolidated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer”. This might be the best move for Inquirer.net to have a cost-efficient operations.

    I’ve always thought that articles on this site were from PDI and/or GMA7 when they still had that partnership with GMA7. That way, the costs would have been less and advertisements would worked to their advantage. In other printed news companies, they have online publications at hand … meaning they manage their own people and own website. The news they print are the same news they publish online. How can you pay more with that kind of set up?

    Inq7.net then, Inquirer.net now, never ceased to update me for a period of 4 years when I was still working in Hong Kong. It may have been due to my loyalty to where my sister, one of the junior programmers mentioned by Leo Santos, was working at that time or it simply became very “handy” as compared to buying newspaper from the stands which would cost at least 2x its regular price.

    Lastly, may it be mismanagement of people or misappropriation of funds, let the new “owner/s” do their thing in bringing Inquirer.net right back on track. Continue to patronize your favorite online publication, as long as you’re happy with the contents. :)

  10. John says:

    If the comments above praising the staff and execs of inquirer.net were true then we could have seen a site better than CNN. The fact is somebody has fucked up and now they are suffering the consequences.

    They have put too much importance on Tech that they have more than five reporters covering this beat, this section however is the most failure among all the sections it gets only less than 10% of the traffic. Entertainment section gets 90% of their traffic.

  11. Mike Abundo
    Twitter: MikeAbundo
    says:

    Meanwhile, publications abroad are going Web-only.

    The Philippines exists in a time warp. Trends here go backwards.

  12. Randy says:

    If the problem of inquirer is tech related, why is this so? Wala na bang top notch developers ang inquirer? Is this the reason they are aggressively trying to hire new developers. This is surprising.

  13. Randy says:

    I also noticed their web site is getting slower and slower.

  14. angelo_a says:

    on the contrary, i just stumbled upon “The Ten Major Newspapers that will fold or go digital” at http://247wallst.com/2009/03/09/the-ten-major-newspapers-that-will-fold-or-go-digital-next/

  15. Millerlite says:

    Actually, may problem talaga tong website nato e. Pano nyo nasabi na the best ang mga nagwowork dito? Super bagal nitong site nato.

    Wait nyo na lang sa NEWS mga katoto kung bakit hindi na malaman dito kung ano gagawin. Lalabas na within a couple of days. And you will know na related sya sa topic dito. Someone messed up and ayun na nga, malaking scandal ito.

  16. dentorrecampo says:

    i’m not part of inquirer management, but this view comes from years of having led several e-commerce content management projects here and abroad.

    from a business perspective, consolidation sounds like a logical if not eventual development for inquirer.net. we must remember that paid readership (subscription and repeated purchases) and sponsorship (ads) form the lifeblood of any publication.

    the bigger picture will tell us that inquirer is not alone in this battle as hitherto print-version buyers may resort to online-only access–which is free, thus no revenue from readership, save for ad sponsorships.

    it remains a tricky balance and unfortunately the online presence still has to serve to supplement the “more vital” print business, and to not forget the “subscription” part of the business.

    fortunately, when it comes to building communities and brand ambassadors, online is tops. from there can arise support for subscription. not to mention the ability to make global impact.

    let’s ask ourselves: we may love publications like wired, natgeo, time, pcworld, and the likes, but how many of us actually have regular subscriptions to them? we all want to keep updated, but those keeping us up-to-date also have to keep their business afloat–so, are their print and online versions doing the job? and as readers, are we doing our share?

    (ultimately, the idea is to pay less for more towards a “happy reader” cycle: more readership, more ad-buyers, less subscription cost, more demand for excellent articles, more writers employed, and who knows, maybe even less ads–or only relevant ads)

  17. Montemarano says:

    I came across this while taking a break from facebook. I think you’re on to some good info here.

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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