Taking boring subjects and making them appealing at Businessweek

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Joe Pompeo of Capital New York writes Friday about how Bloomberg Businessweek has overhauled its look and its content to make what some believe is boring content more interesting.

Pompeo writes, “They set the place up so that art directors would be sitting next to editors would be sitting next to photo editors and so on.

“‘You get this really interesting creative friction, all because Bloomberg believes in cheap office space,’ said Tyrangiel.

“But perhaps the biggest change Tyrangiel made after Bloomberg gave him the keys to Businessweek was an editorial one.

“‘There was a lot management guru bullshit, to be honest,’ he said of the magazine’s previous incarnation under McGraw Hill. “A lot of stuff about finding the best you, and I just thought, that’s insulting.’

“Instead, Tyrangiel took Businessweek in a newsier direction at a time when its core subject matter — money, finance, economics — had become one of the most important threads in the news cycle.

“‘They’d gotten out of the news business,’ he said. ‘They’d really focused on this kind of middle management, how do you get ahead. And this is in the middle of a financial crisis. … The magazine had been so fat and so rich that people believed the audience would read it out of obligation. And nobody reads out of obligation. You have to argue for your right to exist.’”

Read more here.