Bill Ziff: In Memoriam

Bill Ziff: In Memoriam

Summary: Bill Ziff, who was chairman and chief executive officer of Ziff Communications Co. from 1953 to 1994, died on  Sept.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Tech Industry
3

Bill Ziff, who was chairman and chief executive officer of Ziff Communications Co. from 1953 to 1994, died on  Sept. 9 at the age of 76. He was the visionary behind the birth of the Ziff-Davis technology magazine empire, including PCWeek and MacWeek, where I served as editor in chief. I encountered Bill Ziff many times during my stint at ZD, and was inspired by his breadth of knowledge, curiosity, sheer brilliance and devotion to great editorial. I will always remember the time when I was contemplating leaving ZD in the early 1990s, looking for a new challenge, something to do with multimedia as I recall. Bill Ziff took me to dinner somewhere in Menlo Park, and convinced me that staying with the company and taking on a new management challenge, PCWeek, would be rewarding, and he wasn't talking about money. He told me, "Don't always go for the adrenal." That's a lesson I have never forgotten and have passed on to others.  Bloomberg and the New York Times have obituaries. 

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

3 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Bill Ziff: In Memorium

    Thanks for the thoughts, Dan. My relationship with Bill Ziff was a one-off. He convinced my valuable business partner, Bill Lohse, to jump the continent to head up PC Magazine. "Why are you doing this, Bill [Lohse]?" "Bill [Ziff]." That's a tribute to a behind-the-scenes star, Bill Ziff.
    dbryan@...
  • Did he have a crystal ball?

    He certainly had his pulse on early trends in the market and knew in what direction to take his business. That's not a very common ability.
    shuny
  • RE: Bill Ziff: In Memorium

    Thanks for the thoughts, Dan. My relationship with Bill Ziff was a one-off. He convinced my valuable business partner, Bill Lohse, to jump the continent to head up PC Magazine. "Why are you doing this, Bill [Lohse]?" "Bill [Ziff]." That's a tribute to a behind-the-scenes star - Bill Ziff.
    dbryan@...