MELVILLE, N.Y. - The company that owns Plastics World magazine, PTN Publishing Co., has purchased the four Advanstar Communications Inc. plastics magazines - Plastics Machinery & Equipment, Plastics Design Forum, Plastics Compounding and Advanced Composites. PTN Publishing will relaunch the magazines, which had been closed by Advanstar. The Melville publisher of trade publications bought Plastics World from Cahners Publishing Co. in 1993.
Plastics World will be PTN Publishing's core plastics magazine under the newly formed PTN Plastics Publishing Network. The publishing company last month formed a task force to determine how to integrate the Advanstar books into PTN.
PTN announced the agreement Dec. 23. It was expected to be completed by the end of the month.
PTN and Advanstar also agreed to create ``cooperative marketing and operational efforts'' for Advanstar's regional Plastics Fair trade shows.
When publication resumes, the magazines will be aimed at highly defined market niches.
The publishing company last month formed a task force to determine how to integrate Advanstar magazines into PTN.
Peter F. Sprague, PTN Publishing's president and chief operating officer, believes that is the trend in plastics publishing.
``This is clearly becoming a vertical market,'' he said in a prepared statement. ``The business of the reader is generally targeted at a segment of the industry - injection molding, extrusion and so forth - as opposed to the `industry' as a whole.
``Horizontal magazines in this field that attempt to be all things to all people are beginning to see the effects of that,'' he said.
Ironically, moves by Advanstar management spawned one such vertical publication, Injection Molding, founded in 1994 by ex-Advanstar plastics magazine editors and sales staff.
They left Advanstar after Ed Aster, former chief executive officer, moved the plastics magazines from Denver to Eugene, Ore.
Advertising collapsed for the Advanstar plastics titles, plummeting from $7 million a year to slightly more than $2 million, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication of Plastics News. Aster resigned last summer.
Privately owned PTN publishes more than 50 trade magazines. Its wholly owned subsidiary, Johnson Hill Press of Atkinson, Wis., also publishes company-sponsored magazines.