Goodbye Frommer’s Goodbye

I just happened upon an article that mentioned Google bought out Frommer’s from John C. Wiley. I was horrified and read more. 

This is from the USA Today article, but there is plenty more all over the web. None of it is heartwarming to one of their travel writers. I had been a Frommer’s fan for decades before I started to write for them.

“Frommer’s — including its guidebook content, Frommers.com and mobile apps — joins Google’s expanding stable of travel assets including Zagat Survey, a restaurant reviewer it bought last year, and ITA Software, a developer of airfare search and pricing systems, bought in 2010. Terms of the Frommer’s purchase from publisher John Wiley & Sons were not disclosed…

That Frommer’s was already up for sale likely hastened the transaction. Wiley put it up for sale, along with its other consumer market products, in March.

Frommer’s extensive digital footprint, compared to competitors, may have added to its appeal, says Jason Clampet, founder of online travel publication Skift.com and a former editor at Frommer’s.

For several years, Frommer’s has made its guidebook content available online and also offers several travel mobile apps.

Google declined to comment. But in a statement, it says Frommer’s will be added to the Zagat team “to provide a review for every relevant place in the world.”

Job cuts were underway at Frommer’s on Monday, including the layoffs of its entire online team, according to a report by Skift.com.

It also remains unclear if the Frommer’s brand will survive. “I hope so. Everyone knows it,” Clampet says.”

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