What's behind Portfolio's power?
by Chris Roush
TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow wonders on the Dealscape blog about the power behind the new Conde Nast Portfolio magazine — even though it hasn’t published its first issue yet.
Kantrow wrote, “In recent weeks, it has been cited as the impetus behind Forbes’ plan to launch a business magazine aimed at women (by the New York Post); has been credited for the possible canning of Kathy Rebello, BusinessWeek.com’s luxury-porn obsessed editor in chief (by media-gossip site Gawker.com); and has been generally hailed as the most significant and game-changing development to hit business journalism since Henry Luce dreamed up a lavishly illustrated Fortune in 1930 (by just about everyone, but most recently and most obsequiously by the American Journalism Review). Indeed, the hype has become so, well, hyperactive, that, at least according to The New York Observer, Portfolio editor in chief Joanne Lipman has placed her staff under a gag order until the magazine hits newsstands later this month. Good luck with that, Joanne.
“The genesis of the hype is obvious. Portfolio is being published by none other than CondÃ© Nast Publications, where hype â€” in the form of Hollywood starlets, socialite fashionistas and the unquiet ghost of Harold Ross â€” roams the halls and lunches in the Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria. Portfolio has been in the works for almost two years; it’s being lavishly funded; it’s hiring aggressively; and it’s sending out the kind of slick and glossy marketing materials you’d expect from a sibling of the buzz machine known as Vanity Fair. But the expectations that are being pinned on this still-nonexistent magazine â€” a glossy mag, by the way, in an age that’s often declared print dead â€” by a sometimes adoring, sometimes catty, often envious press seem, well, a bit over the top. How can the real thing live up to the hype?”
Read more here.