Tag Archives: BusinessWeek

BusinessWeek staff cuts to total 100

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Shira Ovide of The Wall Street Journal reports that Bloomberg LP plans to cut BusinessWeek‘s staff by 100 or more positions, or roughly 25 percent of the total employees, when it acquires the business magazine early next month.

Ovide reports, “Small numbers of layoffs already have been carried out this week, according to these and other people familiar with the matter.

“Some of these people said another reshuffling is likely to occur this spring, when Bloomberg expects to relaunch the magazine and move BusinessWeek into Bloomberg’s headquarters. Some BusinessWeek employees will be asked to work for Bloomberg’s news service, according to people familiar with the matter.

“In recent weeks, BusinessWeek editorial staffers who wanted to stay after the takeover were asked to submit to Bloomberg their resumes, news clips and 250-word statements about their personal qualifications, according to people familiar with the matter.

“The contenders for the top editor post were asked to write six-page memos outlining how they would integrate BusinessWeek and Bloomberg, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Read more here.

A brief chat with new BW editor: "I need help" from staff

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Tom Lowry of BusinessWeek interviewed incoming editor-in-chief Josh Tyrangiel about his career and the magazine.

Lowry writes, “In a brief interview, Tyrangiel, 37, says he plans to meet soon with BW staffers as a group and individually to gather their input so ‘we can formulate a strategy for the magazine together.’ Tyrangiel has been serving as a deputy managing editor of Time magazine and as the top editor of its online operations.

“While he earned kudos for his work online at Time, Tyrangiel says he is committed to long-form journalism in print. ‘Listen, the big mistake magazines made was trying to imitate the Web,’ he said. ‘Magazines are read reclining, and that lends itself to longer, more in-depth stories.’

“Tryangiel has edited business stories in the past but he acknowledged that he is not a traditional business journalist. He says his background is an ‘opportunity’ for the magazine. ‘I need help,’ he said, ‘and I am going to rely on the staff. I want the staff to stay in their lanes and be experts on their subjects.’”

Read more here.

BW staffers warily optimistic about new editor Tyrangiel

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

BusinessWeek staff members who spoke on background to Talking Biz News on Tuesday about the naming of its new editor in chief expressed some optimism about Josh Tyrangiel taking on the spot when Bloomberg LP closes its deal to acquire the magazine.

Current editor Stephen Adler announced last month he would step down when the deal was completed. That’s expected early next month.

The biggest topic of discussion about Tyrangiel is his lack of business journalism experience. He has been a deputy managing editor at Time and managing editor of Time.com, and he also worked at Vibe and Rolling Stone.

“People are saying it’s good to have a non-geek running the magazine as a counterweight to Winkler,” said one staffer, referring to Bloomberg editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler, who has been in business journalism for his entire career, working at The Wall Street Journal before joining Bloomberg two decades ago.

Others said that the lack of business news experience was a cause for concern. A number of pop music jokes were made Tuesday morning at the magazine’s editor’s meeting in reference to Tyrangiel’s Rolling Stone and Vibe stints.

“General feeling that he’ll be second-fiddle to Norm on any important decisions,” said one BusinessWeek editor, referring to Bloomberg’s Norman Pearlstine, who is the company’s chief content officer and former Time editor. “But also excitement about him bringing a new perspective to the BW brand and excitement and vigor.”

Said one staffer: “People were joking that we’re going to have to get hip to the downtown music scene. Other than that, people seem intrigued and hopeful. Right now we just want to know more about the guy.”

Added another: “There have been jokes about wearing leather to work, but we’re all very optimistic. He sounds like he’s really highly regarded at Time.”

The editorial staff will find out its fate on Thursday, when they will hear whether they have jobs at the magazine going forward.

“Really, everyone’s so wrung out and exhausted from waiting to hear our fate,” said one staff member. “It’s nice to know who the editor is, but really we’re waiting until Thursday to find out if we even have jobs. So we’d probably be more excited about it if we knew we were even going to be part of the new magazine! But we don’t yet.”

Tyrangiel is smart pick

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Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman likes the selection of Josh Tyrangiel as the new editor of BusinessWeek magazine.

Friedman writes, “Tyrangiel, deputy managing editor of Time magazine and managing editor of Time.com, brings a strong skill set to the task, particularly because he knows his way around the Internet. Stephen Adler, BusinessWeek’s top editor, recently said he would be leaving the magazine, paving the way for a new voice.

“Increasingly, many of the coveted leadership positions in the media industry are going to journalists who have excelled on the Web by breaking news and telling stories across multimedia platforms.

“Tyrangiel inherits a tough job, though. Bloomberg is taking over BusinessWeek at a time when weekly news magazines are having a difficult time staying out of the red. Plus, BusinessWeek has been viewed as a dinosaur in the digital age.”

Read more here.

Tyrangiel named BW editor

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Bloomberg L.P. announced Tuesday that Josh Tyrangiel would be appointed editor of BusinessWeek magazine upon completion of its previously announced acquisition of the magazine.

Tyrangiel, 37, currently is deputy managing editor of Time magazine and managing editor of Time.com. He has played a critical role in shaping the magazine’s business, technology and political coverage while managing the magazine’s staff.

He built the Web site from 400 million page views in 2006 to an estimated 1.8 billion page views during 2009. During  his leadership, the site was named Best Magazine Web Site by the Magazine Publishers Association for the past two years.

Tyrangiel will report to Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer at Bloomberg, who, in turn, reports on editorial matters to Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s editor-in-chief.

Pearlstine said he first met Tyrangiel a decade ago, soon after he joined Time as a reporter.

“I saw Josh in a number of leadership positions as he took on increasing responsibilities at Time. Working closely with him in the years I served as Time Inc.’s Editor-in-Chief, I came to appreciate his intelligence, curiosity, energy and integrity,” Pearlstine said in a statement. “Josh is recognized within Time Inc. and its parent, Time Warner Inc., as an ‘editor’s editor’ and a natural leader. His understanding of the ways in which print and online publications can work together will serve Bloomberg well as we expand our consumer media offerings.”

Bloomberg Editor-In-Chief Winkler said, “Josh will build on BusinessWeek’s tradition of great fact-based journalism, coupling it with the breadth and depth of Bloomberg News. Norm and Josh are the ideal team to deliver a terrific business magazine that brings the most trusted, most influential and most important news to a global audience of thought leaders.”

Prior to joining Time, Tyrangiel worked at Vibe and Rolling Stone magazines and produced news at MTV. He earned a M.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. from The University of Pennsylvania.

“I am thrilled to be joining Bloomberg and to lead BusinessWeek’s talented editorial team as we create the world’s most influential and indispensable business magazine,” Tyrangiel said in a statement.

Read more here.

Welch column in BW also bites dust

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A management column written by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy in BusinessWeek has ended, writes Keith Kelly of the New York Post.

The column had been another move by departing editor-in-chief Stephen Adler to overhaul the magazine.

Kelly writes, “Welch, who recently ended a 14-week hospital stay, told the Post it was an amicable parting. He wants to devote more time to the Jack Welch Institute, an online MBA program at the for-profit Chancellor University System.

“‘We did it for four years and it was tougher than we ever thought,’ Welch said. ‘Every Sunday it was like a guillotine hanging over our heads.’”

Talking Biz News reported earlier Friday that CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo‘s column in the magazine was also ending.

Bartiromo column in BusinessWeek ending

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo‘s column in BusinessWeek magazine will end after the business weekly is sold to Bloomberg L.P., staffers at the publication confirmed Friday.

The column, called “Face Time with Maria Bartiromo,” began in 2005. It was one of the changes made by editor-in-chief Stephen Adler to revamp the magazine.

The first column — a question-and-answer format with someone from the business world — was with former American International Group Inc. CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg. Her most-recent Q&A was with Blackstone Group investment strategist Byron Wien.

However, some staff members hated the column, feeling that Bartiromo was too light on some of her interview subjects.

Ryan Chittum of Columbia Journalism Review was especially embarrassed by Bartiromo’s interview with Obama economic advisor Larry Summers that ran this past summer. The magazine’s Elinore Longobardi criticized her for “lobbing softball questions” to Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli back in 2008 as well.

BusinessWeek workers worried about jobs, severance

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Jay Yarow of The Business Insider reports Wednesday that some BusinessWeek staffers are worried about whether they will get jobs at Bloomberg once that company acquires the business weekly because it’s not responsible for paying severance.

Yarow reports, “The question for BusinessWeek employees therefore becomes, is a job at a Bloomberg-run BusinessWeek, or just Bloomberg News in general, a job they want?

“According to a BusinessWeek employee, Bloomberg editors ask in interviews, ‘What would you say if I told you that you were going to work for the newswires from seven to seven?’

“In their heads, many BusinessWeek staffers are saying, ‘No thank you!’ But, because they don’t know if this is a test or not, they simply say, ‘okay.’

“Working twelve hour days grinding out news stories would be a radical change of pace for many BusinessWeek employees who’ve gotten accustomed to writing a few stories a week. And that’s if they’re on the web side. On the print side they write even less.”

Read more here.

BusinessWeek named site of the year

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The American Society of Business Publication Editors named BusinessWeek as the Web site of the year in the 2009 Digital Azbee Awards of Excellence. CIO, InfoWorld, and TechRepublic earned honorable mentions.

One of the judges stated that BusinessWeek’s Web site had a strong, clean interface with consistent page elements that led to positive user experience.

The top Multi-Platform award went to Today’s Garden Center. One judge commented that the branding is consistent in both print and online and that the content was complementary to each platform. The judge also remarked that the online content is interesting and easily navigable. The honorable mentions for the Multi-Platform award went to Greenhouse Grower and Realtor.

ASBPE also presented awards in 15 new categories including best podcast, slide show, video and blog. The awards were announced on Nov. 6 during the luncheon at ASBPE’s first Digital Symposium at the San Francisco Hyatt Airport.

For more information, and to see a full list of winners, please visit ASBPE’s Web site.

Top BW editors to stay at magazine

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Bloomberg LP’s Norm Pearlstine sent a memo Thursday to BusinessWeek‘s staff noting that  the magazine’s two executive editors and its managing editor would remain with the publication after it is sold to Bloomberg at the end of the month.

Ellen Pollock and John Byrne are the executive editors, while Ciro Scotti is the managing editor. Editor in chief Steve Adler already announced he’s leaving.

Roger Neal, the senior vice president and general manager of BusinessWeek.com, is leaving, according to the memo.

The memo reads:

“We are pleased to bring you a report on progress as we work toward the December 1 integration.

“Foremost on our minds are issues involving people, and we are striving to make this process as transparent and expeditious as possible. Bloomberg expects to retain a majority of BusinessWeek’s employees. Each business area will follow a somewhat different selection approach, except in Europe and certain countries where local requirements govern the process. Look for a communication shortly for details in your area. Our goal is to provide clarity around post-integration roles by November 20.

“In terms of the leadership organization, we are pleased to announce that Jessica Sibley, Carl Fischer and Tania Secor will join Bloomberg.  Jessica will serve as Publisher of BusinessWeek, overseeing print and digital ad sales. Carl will be head of Marketing and Communications, and Tania will have an expanded finance role with Bloomberg News that will include Bloomberg Markets and BusinessWeek. We will make additional announcements about leadership in the near future.

“We continue with the selection process for a new Editor-in-Chief and are pleased that Ellen Pollock, John Byrne and Ciro Scotti will continue in their editorial leadership roles.

“Roger Neal has informed us of his decision not to join the integrated company. We are grateful for the tremendous foundation that he has built for the digital properties. Roger’s Digital team will report to Bloomberg’s Kevin Krim.

“Looking at facilities, we expect to move all BusinessWeek offices and bureaus globally (except New York and Austin, Texas) to existing Bloomberg offices on December 4. Employees based in New York will continue to work at 1221 Avenue of the Americas until space is available at Bloomberg’s 731 Lexington Avenue building. Details will be provided by office as they become available.

“In the U.S., BusinessWeek staff members who join Bloomberg will receive a paper paycheck on December 15 to provide income continuity, particularly during the holidays. Since this will be a special, out-of-cycle payment, we cannot accommodate direct deposit. FICA deductions will restart with the move to Bloomberg’s payroll.  Going forward, most new employees will be paid on a monthly basis. The balance of December pay will be made on January 4, 2010.

“Additionally, BusinessWeek staff members in the U.S. will remain on the McGraw-Hill medical, dental and vision plans through year-end but, in keeping with Bloomberg’s benefit plan, will not pay a premium. In December, we will conduct an open enrollment for new employees to enroll in Bloomberg’s health and insurance plans for 2010.

“Answers to a range of additional questions about expenses, mobile devices, flexible spending accounts, supplies, technology and other issues, are forthcoming.

“We look forward to meeting many of you at information sessions over the next few weeks.”