Obituary: CW founding editor Chris Hipwell dies following short illness

By Graeme Burton
08 Jan 2014 View Comments
ibm-series-360-mainframe

Chris Hipwell, the founding editor of Computing's long-time rival Computer Weekly, has died following a short illness at the age of 79.

The magazine, now online-only, was founded in the mid-1960s as a spin-off from Data Processing, a quarterly magazine. "I realised we were missing out lots of stories and quite a lot of revenue was going into recruitment advertising. A high-frequency publication could carry news and generate advertising revenue," Hipwell told Computer Weekly when it discontinued its print edition.

Hipwell put together plans for the magazine during 1965 ahead of its launch in September 1966. The final print issue was published on 5 April 2011.

Back then, Hipwell's magazine focused very much on the hardware and the eco-systems that were growing up around them, predominantly the IBM System 360 mainframe and similar machines. Like Computing, Computer Weekly grew around recruitment advertising.

Hipwell remained editor for 10 years before becoming publisher of Computer Weekly and masterminding the launch or acquisition of further titles in the computer sector.

These included Systems International in 1978 and Practical Computing in 1979.

In 1981, as the home computer revolution was taking off, he launched Your Computer magazine, a news-stand title that achieved a circulation of just under 160,000. 

John Lamb, editor of Computer Weekly in the 1980s and 1990s, worked with Hipwell. He told the Press Gazette: "Chris was an old school editor in the best possible sense: courteous, intelligent and really engaged with the industry but not afraid to speak out. He had a knack of explaining complex topics in plain English too, which has always been a vital skill in the jargon-ridden computer business."

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