Tag Archives: Business weeklies

Looking back on 15 years of MaineBiz


Carol Coultas, the editor of MaineBiz, writes about the early history of the newspaper as it celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Coultas writes, “With about $1,500 in startup money, Whitney produced his prototype. Although he retained the title of publisher, he also sold the ads and handled circulation, while veteran newswoman Shirley Jacks oversaw the editorial content and a friend with a Mac and some desktop publishing experience did the production work.

“’It was a totally bootstrap operation, but it was always a serious business journal,’ he says.

“Fast forward to 1999. The paper had expanded beyond Portland, it was published every other week and professional staff populated each department. Annual ad revenues approached $400,000.

“’It was like riding on the back of a tiger,’ says Whitney. ‘It was a great product, but there were constant cash flow problems. We were undercapitalized, like most small businesses. I knew we needed a cash infusion to keep growing, and I was tired.’”

Read more here. 

InvestmentNews creator retires


Jim Pavia, the editor of InvestmentNews, writes about the retirement of the publication’s founder, Bill Bisson, from Crain Communications.

Pavia writes, “During my six years as editor, I can attest to the fact that when someone challenged the fairness of a news story in InvestmentNews, Bill was the first to check with me to make sure that we dotted every i and crossed every t.

“He also demanded integrity and fairness from editors and always placed the readers’ interests first.

“While old-fashioned in that sense, Bill was an innovator in every other way. He constantly prodded the editorial and business sides of his publications to reinvent themselves and to be slightly ahead of the curve.

“‘He has never been satisfied with his publications, despite their success,’ Mike said. ‘He was always asking: ‘What can be improved?’ ‘What can we do better for our readers?”

Read more here. 

Crain's Chicago to cut print issues later this year


Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune reports that Crain’s Chicago Business will cut some of its print issues later in the year to cut costs.

Rosenthal writes, “A Crain Communications spokeswoman on Thursday confirmed the plan to skip weeks by publishing two double issues in July, two in August and one in November, around Thanksgiving. News will remain available online as it breaks, even in non-print weeks.

“The spokeswoman said the business title hopes to resume publishing every Monday in 2010.

“In March, Crain’s Chicago Business cut three positions and staffers learned they would be subject to a companywide 10-percent pay cut.”

Read more here.

The Puget Sound Business Journal and secrecy behind its layoffs


Rami Grunbaum, deputy business editor of the Seattle Times, writes Sunday about why the Puget Sound Business Journal hasn’t written about its own layoffs.

Grunbaum, editor of the publication from 2002 to 2004, writes, “Not only did the prize-winning Seattle newsweekly neglect to cover its own cuts — publisher Emory Thomas Jr. went a step further, according to several sources: He warned that anyone who talked or blogged about the cuts could be fired.

“The paper laid off seven people April 24: three of the 19 in its newsroom and four in its business operations. A revised staff box published Friday shows 39 employees, down from 50 in February.

“Thomas, the Business Journal’s editor before he became publisher, said in a written response to questions that ‘these are challenging times’ but ‘the paper remains solidly profitable.’ He declined to discuss the number of layoffs and didn’t address his warning to staffers.

“Not surprisingly, the paper’s journalists had absolutely no comment.”

Read more here. The Sacramento Business Journal, also owned by American City Business Journals, has also made layoffs, according to this Sacramento Bee story.

ACBJ chairman: Business journalism has hit bottom



American City Business Journals chairman Ray Shaw told business journalists Monday night that he believes that the layoffs and cutbacks in business journalism have hit bottom and that the industry will begin to rebound by the end of the year.

Shaw noted that his company, which owns and operates 40 weekly business journals across the country, employs 600 business journalists, the same number as lastyear.

“At this time next year, I would expect we would have more,” said Shaw, noting that his company was “solidly profitable” and had no debt.

Shaw received the Society of American Business Editors and Writers‘ Distinguished Achievement Award Monday night in Denver. His career in business journalism has spanned 50 years — 30 with Dow Jones & Co. and 20 running Charlotte, N.C.-based ACBJ. The business weekly company has had 20 consecutive years of growth and has increased circulation in each of the past five years, said Shaw.

Shaw criticized daily newspapers who have cut their standalone business sections and who give away content for free on the Internet.

“I think the dailies can be a lot smarter in dealing with the Web,” said Shaw. “The Wall Street Journal has it right. I think the model has to change.” All of ACBJ’s papers charge for access to Web content from their print publications.

Noting that the New York Times ran an article Monday about a 90-year-old health reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, the 75-year-old Shaw noted that he still has a lot more career left.

“I love this business,” he said. “I expect to be in it for a lot more years. Hopefully, we’ll have managers who won’t give away the dran thing.”

Business Web sites named as Eppy Award finalists


The Web sites of BusinessWeek, Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times business section were named Monday as finalists in the annual Eppy Awards for business news sites with more than 1 million visitors per month.

The Eppy Awards, sponsored by Editor & Publisher and MediaWeek magazine, honor the best sites in the media world.

The sites for Automotive News, Crain’s Chicago Business and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance were named the finalists for business news sites with fewer than 1 million visitors per month.

BloggingStocks.com, a 2008 election blog from BusinessWeek and the “Today in the Sky” blog from USAToday were named finalists for the best business blogs.

Crave from CBS Interactive, Engadget.com and Fortune magazine’s Apple 2.0 were named finalists in the consumer technology blog category.

See all of the finalists here.

ACBJ institutes pay freeze, cuts salaries by 5 percent



American City Business Journals, the owners of 40 business weekly newspapers across the country, announced Wednesday a 5 percent pay cut for employees making more than $35,000 a year and a freeze on existing salaries, according to an internal memo obtained by Talking Biz News.

In the memo, chairman Ray Shaw stated, “The start of 2009 has been the softest stretch that ACBJ has had during the 20 years I have been involved with the company. While there’s no question that we will remain profitable and rebound from this downturn, it is important that we take steps to cushion the impact of the slowdown as much as possible without harming the quality of our publications, online activities and other services.”

The freeze in pay will take effect on June 1. Each employee affected by a salary reduction will be given two additional paid personal days to be taken by the end of 2009

Later in the memo, Shaw stated, “We are temporarily modifying our policy regarding unpaid sabbatical leaves. Employees with five or more years at ACBJ may apply for a maximum two months leave, with one week each month being charged to vacation. Recommendations are to be made to publishers or unit operating heads with final approval from Charlotte. Certain management members will be excluded from such leaves.

“No open positions will be filled without my permission.

“Please contact your publisher or unit operating head if you have any questions about these matters.

“I thank all of you for what you contribute to make our company the exceptional place it is. We will emerge from this rough patch stronger than ever.”

Building a business newspaper


Dennis Curran, the editor and publisher of the Wyoming Business Report, reflects back on how the monthly paper has grown as it turns nine years old.

Curran writes, “We started with just one staff person – me — and an office in a basement — mine — and some help from a sister business newspaper in Colorado, the Northern Colorado Business Report. We came out quarterly then, and I recall our top stories were about ranch sales and the Wyoming Business Council surviving a legislative attempt to cut its funding.

“Today the Business Report is published monthly, and we have a free daily e-newsletter that provides subscribers with the day’s top breaking news stories and is available on our Web site. Did I mention that our eDaily is free?

“We’ve moved out of the basement to offices in Cheyenne, Casper and Lander, but our staff is still pretty lean — there are only six of us to write and edit the news and sell advertising — and we still relay on our sister paper in Fort Collins for billing, circulation, human resources, layout, production and help with our special events.”

Read more here.

Dallas Business Journal eliminating two positions


The Dallas Business Journal is eliminating two positions and restructuring the work associated with others, according to a stiory on its Web site.

The story states, “One of the positions is administrative, which is being eliminated due to the recent implementation of Salesforce.com software, used in the advertising and billing departments.

“The Dallas Business Journal is also eliminating a special section writer position because of current economic conditions. Staff reporters will continue to write for the special sections associated with the industries they cover, in addition to regular news coverage. Newsroom positions that may be added when the economy improves would focus on the priority of breaking news.”

Read more here.

Seattle-area biz paper prints last issue, changes name to cover new area


The Eastside Business Journal, a business newspaper that covered the area east of Seattle, has printed its last issue and will fold into the Bellevue Business Journal, which covers a smaller territory.

Publisher Joe Kennedy writes, “I’ve been fortunate to meet many great people and was able to forge partnerships with organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce in Bothell, Issaquah, Sammamish and Woodinville.

“Unfortunately as a very small organization, we weren’t doing a very good job at covering any area very well. There are so many great businesses and organizations to promote all over the Eastside, but I’ve just been spread too thin and haven’t been able to get them all covered.

“It does feel good to know that Eastside Business newspaper has been able to help promote many, many great businesses and organizations all over the Eastside throughout the years. Still the same, during these times of opportunity, the facts have to be faced. Most of our advertisers prefer to focus on the Bellevue audience and demographics, and I just haven’t been able to generate the needed support from other cities to make it worth the cost of distribution, postage, printing, extra hours, etc.”

Read more here.