Publisher sees online potential for axed Ascend titles

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Intellisphere owner MJH & Associates may continue operating Family Practice Recertification, Internal Medicine World Report and Physician's Money Digest as online-only properties, but will cease print publication of the titles due to the weakness in the advertising market for primary care journals.

The company, which publishes MD Net Guide, will continue to publish Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, Cardiology Review, Resident & Staff Physician and Surgical Rounds from its Plainsboro, NJ, offices. The titles, which MJH & Associates bought from Ascend Media earlier this month, were previously operated out of Princeton. About 30 staff will make the move to Plainsboro, with 14 or 15 redundancies, mostly on back office support functions. “They're good quality individuals, and we don't want to lose their talents,” said MJH & Associates president and COO Herb Marek. “Recognizing what they've gone through, we've tried to create as many homes for them in our organization as possible.”

Ascend had already made some cuts on the three suspended primary care titles before the deal went through, and the head of the division, Will Passano, left the company.

Marek said the other five titles, which are less exposed to the malaise in primary care, hold great promise. “Pharmacy is, in our opinion, very well positioned for the future, and managed care is another one of those markets that's continuing to evolve,” said Marek. “Those two are going to be primary drivers for the future. Clinical publications may be more challenged, but physicians still need that information and some of it can only be gleaned through print. We will have a web presence.”
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