Mixed Media: Woodworking Network and FDMC Magazine Join Hands
December 11, 2015 | 3:55 pm CST
bille sler, FDMC, CCI Media, Woodworking Network
Bill Esler, Editorial Direct & Associate Publisher, Woodworking Network at CCI Media.

If you are a follower of WoodworkingNetwork.com, or a wood industry media maven, you may wonder about the acquisition of Woodworking Network by FDMC magazine's parent, CCI Media.  Announced December 1, the deal closed December 8, 2015.

In a nutshell: Woodworking Network's owners at Vance Publishing wanted to retire from the family business, which served three major sectors: agriculture, salons, and the wood industry. There was no internal candidate to take over, so the Vance family sought a buyer. The successful bid came from a partnership of Farm Journal for the agricultural titles, Bobit for Modern Salon, and CCI Media for Woodworking Network.

Woodworking Network remains a robust business, operating major tradeshows, conferences, publications, digital media distribution, and the top website for business information about secondary wood manufacturing industries. It's now part of CCI Media, Inc., headed by CEO Tim Fixmer.

Now to the FAQs. 

1. All Your Favorite Folks Remain On Board

Everyone from Woodworking Network has been hired by CCI Media, LLC. The familiar bylines remain of editors Karen Koenig and Michaelle Bradford, along with yours truly, as well as web editor David Biggs. The day after the deal closed, FDMC editors Will Sampson, Karl Forth, and Bobby Dalheim joined with us in a three-day planning session. 

Marketing manager Carroll Henning, who spearheads our event program outreach, remains on board. Also making the transition are art director Aly Kelly and administrator Ellen Roundtree.

The Woodworking Network sales group - Renee Stritar, Jim Leahey, and Laurel Didier - now team with their new FDMC colleagues Rob Roszell and Emily Rogier.

In the print manufacturing area Woodworking Network production manager Lori Ohme will join Farm Journal, and her responsibilities are being absorbed by Gail Utt, her counterpart at CCI .

2. Woodworking Network Is the Overall Brand

Woodworking Network  now focuses on business as usual, and then some: the website, WoodworkingNetwork.com, the events, and targeted media newsletters and information channels continue. The website will continue to grow along the same rapid path that has seen its audience quadruple over the past four years.

Woodworking Network and FDMC Digital, the website of FDMC magazine, will cross link to key destinations like Industry News, The Knowledge Center, and Red | Book Online, and share content so it is even easier to find. You can easily engage with us at our websites, and through all your favorite social media channels.  

3. FDMC Magazine Is the Monthly Publication Brand  

The biggest change is this: FDMC magazine absorbs the Woodworking Network print publication. A page by page comparison of the two revealed differences in style, but not substance. So readers will continue to receive that substantial diet of well-researched case studies, expert commentary by The Wood Dr., How-To articles, explorations of materials and supplies, and new product news. And while the style of FDMC magazine will change - as all publication do in keeping with their times - the substance will remain. 


In addition to the 12 monthly issues of FDMC magazine, we also will publish additional free-standing print versions including Closets magazine beginning in March, Wood Industry Red Book in April, and event-related items such as the Official IWF 2016 Pre-Show Planner, and the IWF Show Daily. 

4. No Small Print in This Deal

For the record, I'm very happy with this change. It is really great to get to know my former competitors as collaborators. My admiration of their skills and knowledge has been heightened. And I feel fervently that this expanded team will do an even better job for you through CCI Media, a company dedicated to one industry: woodworking. 

Also for the record: Mesirow Financial acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Vance Publishing Corporation, on its sale to Farm Journal, Inc., Bobit Business Media, Inc., and CCI Media LLC, three leading business-to-business media companies in the United States. Under the agreement, Farm Journal acquired the Company’s Agribusiness and Produce divisions, while Bobit and CCI purchased Vance’s Salon and Woodworking divisions, respectively.  See more at mesirowfinancial.com/


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.