ZD Media >
Getting freelance work from ZD Media is highly dependent on who you know. If memory serves me correctly, it was Mark MacDonald who gave me my first shot with them, writing a handful of reviews in issue #3 of Pocket Games. I knew Mark from the #vidgames IRC chat channel. Through Mark, I was introduced to Dan Peluso, whom I have worked with on numerous occasions over the years.
Through Dan, I was introduced to Dan Leahy, and so it goes...
By far, my favorite Ziff publication to write for is Pocket Games, which is published roughly 3 times per year. I started contributing to PG with issue 3 (March 2000) and had a solid run of 15 consecutive issues up through issue 17 (March 2005).
One thing I find amusing is that Ziff's Holiday Game Guides are always post-dated a year. For instance, the 2004 Holiday Game Guide landed on store shelves for the 2003 holiday season. They fixed the numbering dilemma with their "2005" guide, renaming it to the 2005 Ultimate Videogame Buyer's Guide. It still appeared on shelves in November of 2004, but at least it didn't refer to the following holiday season any longer.
I've mostly enjoyed the work I've done for Uncle Ziff, with two qualifiers. 1) They shuffle staff and editors so frequently that it's tough to maintain freelance work with the same publication for very long. 2) They don't send out paychecks until a month after a magazine is published, which is often 3 months after you've done the work. Sadly, that sort of pay schedule is common in the print industry.