Bunnell, inventor of tech media, dies at 69
David Bunnell, the founder of PC Magazine, PC World and MacWorld magazine, has died at the age of 69.
Harry McCracken of Fast Company writes, “Bunnell wanted a share of ownership in Personal Computing; when Benwill wouldn’t give it to him, he walked after just a few issues had been published. (The magazine continued on without him, quite successfully, into the early 1990s.) He relocated to San Francisco and, after a brief period working as a word-processing operator, became managing editor at the book-publishing firm founded by Adam Osborne, who would later be best known for his eponymous portable computer. When IBM announced its first PC in 1981, Bunnell, Osborne colleague Cheryl Woodard, and Jim Edlin were inspired to found a magazine devoted entirely to the new computer and its ecosystem. With a staff of six (including Bunnell’s wife Jacqueline Poitier, who survives him) they put together the first issue in a spare bedroom at the Bunnell home.
“That magazine—PC Magazine—was such a success that multiple large publishing companies were soon interested in acquiring it. In fact, Bunnell and Woodard thought they’d struck a deal to sell it to Pat McGovern of IDG, publisher of Computerworld and InfoWorld, when they learned that their financial backer had sold it to Ziff-Davis without bothering to tell them. They—and 48 of the magazine’s 52 staffers—responded by promptly quitting to found PC World for IDG. Its first issue was so thick with advertising that it set records.
“With their next major IDG launch, Macworld, Bunnell and Woodard perfected the art of hitching a media brand to a computing platform. Thanks to a deal Bunnellhammered out with Steve Jobs, the magazine debuted on January 24, 1984, the same day as the Mac itself, and was promoted directly to new Mac owners via materials that shipped with the computer.”
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