PENTON MEDIA, a publisher of business and professional magazines, directories, and handbooks, is descended from 2 old-line Cleveland firms, the Penton Publishing Co. and the Industrial Publishing Co. John A. Penton founded Penton Publishing in 1904 to bring together the production of three local trade magazines: Iron Trade Review, Foundry, and Marine Review. Penton, a Canadian immigrant who came to Cleveland by way of Detroit, where he worked as an iron molder and served as president of the Machinery Molders' Union and editor of their journal, established Foundry in Detroit in 1892. Penton moved to Cleveland in 1901 to head the Iron and Steel Press Company, and he continued to expand his industry publications before forming Penton Publishing in 1904. Located in the Penton Bldg. at 1213 W. 3rd St., the company became one of the nation's largest business magazine publishers during the 1920s. During this time, two of its most influential magazines, Steel (now Industry Week) and Machine Design first appeared. In 1925, Penton was awarded contracts to print TIME MAGAZINE, but as circulation grew, Penton returned to its original focus and did not seek future contracts to print the popular magazine. In 1930, IRVING B. HEXTER founded the Industrial Publishing Co., issuing its first monthly magazine, Here's How Its Welded (now Welding Design & Fabrication). Like Penton, IPC grew with the times, and the company established other trade magazines such as Hydraulics & Pneumatics and Precision Metal.
In 1964, the Pittway Corp., a conglomerate with holdings in real estate, acquired Industrial Publishing and used it as the nucleus of a growing publishing empire. Industrial Publishing expanded greatly between 1964 and 1975 by adding other business publications. In 1976, Pittway acquired Penton, then located at 1111 Chester Ave., and merged Penton's operations with those of IPC to create Penton/IPC, Inc. At the time of the company's relocation to 1100 Superior Ave., Penton/IPC, Inc. had revenues of $150 million. Six years later, the firm's revenues increased to $183 million. In 1986 Penton dropped IPC from its name, becoming, simply, Penton, Inc. In 1995, Penton had more than 1,250 employees, of which, approximately, 700-800 worked in Cleveland, and the company maintained offices in nearly all U.S. cities, as well as in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Mexico. At the time, the company was responsible for the publication of 90 titles. In April 1998, the company again changed its name to Penton Media, and later that year it spun off from Pittway to become an independent, publicly-traded company. By 2004, Penton Media, produced fifty magazines for business and industry, and also provided online media, as well as, trade show and conference management service for its customers. Its global headquarters was located in downtown Cleveland in the Penton Media Building, at 1300 E. 9th St.
In 2004, David Nussbaum, who had been Penton's Executive Vice President, was appointed CEO and moved Penton's headquarters from Cleveland to New York City. In 2006, Wasserstein & Co. purchased Penton Media and merged it with Prism Business Media, which it had purchased from Primedia the year before. More recently, Penton Media was purchased by Informa PLC in late 2016. Informa is a London-based media company much like Penton, only larger. By mid 2017, Informa management announced that it would retire the Penton brand. Although a few internal references to Penton still exist, the Penton name has essentially disappeared. Most of the former Penton now is part of Informa USA Inc. However, the brands that had been associated with Penton and with Industrial Publishing still remain.