Tag Archives: BusinessWeek
by Chris Roush
The monthly magazine and blog Creative Review – which covers advertising, design and visual culture — has selected Bloomberg Businessweek’s design team as its Design Studio of the Year.
It writes, “Under creative director Richard Turley, (not forgetting editor Josh Tyrangiel) Bloomberg Businessweek has trounced its rivals with a verve and energy that recalls the heyday of the printed magazine.
“Set-piece editions in which the decks are cleared for total devotion to one topic have become a speciality of the magazine – its valedictory Steve Jobs issue being particularly successful. In our June 2012 issue our columnist Jeremy Leslie revealed the working process of the Bloomberg Businessweek team as it put together the issue (images above, you can read his piece here).
“Last November, the team did it again with its Election Issue, shown here and chosen as one of our Best in Book winners for The Annual.
“The Election issue takes as its starting point a famous speech by Ronald Reagan in which he asked the American people whether they felt better or worse off than they had been four years ago and applies that test to Obama’s period in office.
“It opens with a double-page, black and white shot of the President’s inauguration on January 29, 2009 overlaid with facts about the state of the nation at that point.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Most of the large business magazines posted a decline in advertising revenue during the first three months of the year, while the overall magazine industry had a small increase in ad money.
Leading the decline was Bloomberg Businessweek, which had a 30.2 percent drop in ad revenue to $35.4 million, according to data released by Publishers Information Bureau. Its ad pages dropped 32.6 percent during the same time period to 228.52 pages.
Another big decliner was The Economist, which reported a 27.2 percent decline in ad revenue to $22.3 million and a 28.6 percent decline in ad pages to 330.88. And Forbes‘ ad revenue dropped 15.9 percent to $42.1 million, and its ad pages fell 19.6 percent to 266.03.
In comparison, the overall industry posted a 0.5 percent increase in ad revenue and a 4.8 percent drop in ad pages.
Bucking its competitors, Fortune was the only major business glossy to record an increase in the first quarter. Its advertising revenue rose 7 percent to $41.5 million, and its ad pages rose 0.3 percent to 272.94.
The large declines were also seen at some of the smaller business magazines. Black Enterprise, for example, saw its advertising revenue fall 35.4 percent to $3.7 million and its ad pages fall 34.3 percent to 80.41.
Harvard Business Review posted a 13.3 percent decline in ad revenue to $3 million and a 16.9 percent decline in ad pages to 63.80. And Inc. was down 9.7 percent in ad revenue to $6.9 million and down 11.9 percent in ad pages to 81.66.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, however, posted a 22.2 percent increase in ad revenue to $4.6 million and a 19.2 percent increase in ad pages to 64.27.
See all of the data here.
by Chris Roush
Fortune magazine is one of the four finalists in the general excellence category for the 2013 National Magazine Awards, run by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
The other finalists are National Geographic, New York and Wired.
Two business magazines are finalists in the single issue category. They are Bloomberg Businessweek for “Election Issue,” Oct. 15-21, and Fast Company for “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies,” March.
In the leisure interest category, Wired is a finalist for for “How to Be a Geek Dad,” June. Bloomberg Businessweek is also a finalist in the tablet category.
Wired is also a finalist in the feature writing category for “Inside the Mansion–and the Mind–of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on the Internet,” by Charles Graeber; November.
Known as the Ellies — for the Alexander Calder stabile “Elephant” given to each award winner — the National Magazine Awards will be presented on Thursday, May 2, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
See all the finalists here.
by Chris Roush
Magculture.com interviewed Jennifer Daniel, the graphics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Here is an excerpt:
What’s the next story you’ll be explaining with infographics?
I’m always juggling a few stories at the same time. Right now I’m working on a series of visualizations that show the robot take over on the trading floor and the state of high frequency trading. Another graphic about all the human organs and senses that can be replaced with machinery—3D printing skulls, implants that can draw what you think, etc. (SHAMELESS PLUG) The graphics department has a tumblr where we post what we’re up to.
What was the last thing your creative director said to you?
“Be sure to mention how I am complex intellectual enigma…no wait, a ‘dynamic thought adventurer’. Something like that.”
What do you do on a weekly basis?
Each assignment at Businessweek is a little different from the next but they all start out the same way… with a crazy amount of stress.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bloomberg Businessweek announced Friday a partnership with Gannett that will allow the business magazine to be delivered earlier an additional 100,000 subscribers.
The service will be launched in 15 new U.S. markets by mid-July 2013 and significantly expands its alternate delivery program launched in December 2010.
The delivery program allows subscribers to receive the magazine a day or two before it can be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. By the end of September, the service will be available in 31 U.S. markets, to 390,000 subscribers — more than 40 percent of Bloomberg Businessweek’s North American circulation. The majority of markets will see a delivery time of early Friday morning.
Currently, the service is available to 350,000 U.S. Bloomberg Businessweek subscribers in 21 markets, which includes seven Top 10 Designated Market Areas (DMAs) and covers half of Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 100 DMA’s circulation.
“At Bloomberg Businessweek we are committed to bringing our customers the best editorial product along with the best service,” said Paul Bascobert, president of Bloomberg Businessweek and head of business operations for Bloomberg Media, in a statement. “With Expedited Morning Delivery we significantly shorten the time from the printing press to the doorstep, a service of particular value in light of the pending service reductions at the United States Postal Service.”
The Bloomberg Businessweek-Gannett partnership introduces the service in new markets such as Asheville, N.C., central Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Rochester and Ithaca by the end of July 2013. It adds them to existing markets including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York City, New Jersey, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., among others.
by Chris Roush
Kyle Stock, who had worked at The Daily tabloid paper for News Corp. before it shut down at the end of last year, has been hired as a senior correspondent at Bloomberg Businessweek.
He will be writing about the news and strategies of major corporations. Monday will be his first day.
While at The Daily, Stock led business coverage with a focus on economics, consumer brands and the convergence of the tech industry and Wall Street. He also developed, built and analyzed data to generate the type of interactive graphic elements possible on tablet computers.
Before that, he worked at The Wall Street Journal for 2 1/2 years and at the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., for five years.
At The Journal, he covered the labor market of the finance industry with a focus on hiring, layoffs and compensation and wrote weekly installments for The Wall Street Journal Careers section and Deal Journal blog.
Stock is a graduate of Colorado College and has a master’s in journalism from Northwestern and an MBA from Columbia.
by Chris Roush
Longtime Businessweek.com editor Dan Beucke, who for the last several years worked on the website, is leaving the magazine to become deputy business editor of the Orange County Register.
Beucke was named Businessweek.com news director in December 2007. Prior to that he was the senior editor for technology at Bloomberg Businessweek, responsible for editing the magazine’s stories on computers, software, and the Internet.
Previously, he was editor of the UpFront section and a deputy editor responsible for editing a variety of stories on companies, corporate governance, strategies, marketing, and business people.
Beucke came to Bloomberg Businessweek from Newsday, the Long Island newspaper, in December, 1997, as an associate editor.
Previous to that, he was business editor of New York Newsday. He also has worked as an editor and reporter for the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, the Denver Post and the Orange County (Calif.) Register, and has taught editing and other journalism subjects at Columbia University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Beucke holds BAs in economics and communications from the California State Universities at San Jose and Fullerton.
by Liz Hester
Bloomberg Businessweek was out Thursday with an excellent profile of Disney and the acquisition of Lucasfilm and Star Wars. The big takeaway for nerds everywhere is that key members of the original cast are likely to return (maybe):
Here’s creator George Lucas’s slip up:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VIIand if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’ ” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”
Besides the revelation, business reporters should take note of the profile. It’s a well-written analysis of the deal and Disney’s recent success at acquiring iconic businesses and integrating them. The lead anecdote chronicled talks between Lucas and Disney CEO Robert Iger. Here’s Iger’s strategy in a nutshell:
The clandestine talks eventually led to the announcement last October that Disney would pay $4 billion for Lucasfilm, thus putting the Star Wars heroes and villains into the same trove of iconic characters as Iron Man, Buzz Lightyear, and Mickey Mouse. Disney sent excitable Star Wars fans into a frenzy by unveiling a plan to release the long-promised final trilogy starting in 2015. Their enthusiasm reached a crescendo in January when J.J. Abrams, director of the acclaimed 2009 rebooting ofStar Trek, signed on to oversee the first film. “It’s like a dream come true,” gushes Jason Swank, co-host of RebelForce Radio, a weekly podcast.
The deal fit perfectly into Iger’s plan for Disney. He wants to secure the company’s creative and competitive future at a time when consumers are inundated with choices, thanks to a proliferation of cable television networks and the ubiquity of the Internet. “It’s a less forgiving world than it’s ever been,” he says. “Things have to be really great to do well.” Part of Iger’s strategy is to acquire companies that could be described as mini-Disneys such as Pixar and Marvel—reservoirs of franchise-worthy characters that can drive all of Disney’s businesses, from movies and television shows to theme parks, toys, and beyond. Lucas’s needs were more emotional. At 68, he was ready to retire and escape from the imaginary world he created—but he didn’t want anybody to desecrate it.
And it’s Iger’s vision of keeping other acquisitions intact, but expanding their characters and other intellectual property within Disney’s empire that have made him such a success at the helm of Disney.
Iger, however, proved to have a very clear vision. He understood that Disney’s success rested on developing enduring characters. This was a strategy Walt Disney pioneered with Mickey Mouse and Grimm’s Fairy Tales heroines Snow White and Cinderella. More recently, Disney translated The Lion King, a hit animated movie, into a long-running Broadway show. Pirates of the Caribbean, a theme park ride, became a movie series and drove sales of related books and video games.
Iger accelerated that process by making acquisitions. The first was the $7.4 billion purchase of Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Iger personally negotiated the deal with Steve Jobs, who was then Pixar’s CEO. As part of the deal, Iger kept the creative team, led by John Lasseter, in place and allowed them to continue to operate with a minimum of interference in their headquarters near San Francisco. “Steve and I spent more time negotiating the social issues than we did the economic issues,” Iger says. “He thought maintaining the culture of Pixar was a major ingredient of their creative success. He was right.”
The transaction gave Disney a new source of hit movies. Jobs also became a Disney board member and its largest shareholder. Periodically he would call Iger to say, “Hey, Bob, I saw the movie you just released last night, and it sucked,” Iger recalls. Nevertheless, the Disney CEO says that having Jobs as a friend and adviser was “additive rather than the other way around.”
In 2009, Iger negotiated a similar deal for Disney to buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. Once again, Iger kept the leadership intact: Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter and Marvel studio chief Kevin Feige. He thought Disney would profit from their deep knowledge of the superhero movie genre. While the Marvel acquisition didn’t involve a celebrity like Jobs or Lucas, it’s paid off handsomely. Last year, Disney releasedThe Avengers, the first Marvel film it distributed and marketed. The movie grossed $1.5 billion globally, making it the third-most lucrative movie in history. “It was successful beyond belief,” says Jessica Reif Cohen, a media analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC).
The piece is an interesting read full of great stories and details. It’s a great example of a company profile pegged to the latest industry news. Kudos.
by Chris Roush
Dylan Byers of Politico is reporting that Bloomberg Businessweek has apologized for a cover on the real estate market that some deemed racist.
Byers writes, “‘Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret,’ Josh Tyrangiel, the magazine’s editor, wrote in a statement sent to POLITICO. ‘Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we’d do it differently.’
“The cover depicted minorities in a house, drowning in cash. The headline: ‘The Great American Housing Rebound: Flips. No-look bids. 300 percent returns. What could possibly go wrong?’
“Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias, who otherwise praised Businessweek as ‘a genuinely great magazine,’ described it as ‘racist.’
“‘The idea is that we can know things are really getting out of hand since even nonwhite people can get loans these days! They ought to be ashamed,’ Yglesias wrote on his blog.
“The Atlantic’s Emily Badger wrote, ‘[W]e still can’t decide what’s most offensive about it: the caricature of the busty, sassy Latina, the barefooted black man waving cash out his window, that woman in the upstairs left-hand corner who looks about as dim-witted as her dog?’”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Chittum writes, “The cover stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons. Also, because there are only people of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It’s hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.
“Compounding the first-glance problem with the image is the fact that race has been a key backdrop to the subprime crisis.
“It’s a narrative that has, not coincidentally, dovetailed with ‘Obamaphone’ baloney, the ACORN pseudo-scandal, and Southern politicians calling the first black president ‘food-stamp president,’ and is meant to take the focus off the ultimate culprits: mortgage lenders with no scruples and the Wall Street banks who financed them.
“In fact, though, the record is clear: minorities were disproportionately targeted by predatory lending, which has always gone hand in hand with subprime. Even when they qualified for prime loans that similar-circumstance whites got, they were pushed into higher-interest subprimes.
“In other words, minority borrowers were disproportionately victimized in the bubble. But BusinessWeek here has them on the cover bathing in housing-ATM cash, implying that they’re going to create another bubble.”
Read more here.