Tag Archives: Conde Nast Portfolio

Former Portfolio editor to write column for Newsweek

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Joanne Lipman, who was the editor of the now-defunct Conde Nast Portfolio, will write a regular column for Newsweek called the “C-Suite,” reports John Koblin of Women’s Wear Daily.

Koblin writes, “‘She will do recurring columns on c-suite topics and ceo interviews,’ said a Newsweek spokesman.

“It’s no surprise that Lipman would resurface in Tina Brown‘s new magazine. Back when media watchers were hurling spitballs at Lipman’s Portfolio, Brown was one of her most vocal supporters.

“In 2009, Brown described Portfolio as a ‘self-assured, smart competitor in the suit segment of boring business books’ and called Lipman a ‘star’ and an ‘accomplished business journalist with a lot of fans.’ Edward Felsenthal, executive editor at Newsweek, worked with Lipman for years at The Wall Street Journal and the two have been regular lunch partners since then.”

Read more here.

Biz magazine ad revenue up nearly 10 in 2010, outperforming industry

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The 13 business magazines reported ad revenue of $1.17 billion in 2010, up 9.6 percent from the previous year, far outpacing the 3.1 percent increase for the entire magazine industry, according to data released Monday by the Publishers Information Bureau and analyzed by Talking Biz News.

Ad pages also rose 7.2 percent to 11,245.61 for the business magazines, which also outperformed the 0.1 percent decline in ad pages for the entire industry.

The increases reverse two years of declines. In 2009, the 15 business magazines reported a 21.7 percent decline in ad revenue and a 28.7 percent decline in ad revenue. The 2010 comparison excludes the 2009 data from Fortune Small Business and Conde Nast Portfolio, both of which closed in 2009.

The business magazine with the biggest increase in ad revenue was Wired, which was up 35.8 percent to $84.9 million. The business title with the biggest increase in ad pages for the year was Fast Company, which saw a 26.5 percent jump to 538.95 pages.

The only business title that did not see an increase in ad pages or ad revenue was Forbes. Its ad pages fell 4.8 percent to 1,844.84 in 2010, but its ad revenue rose 0.6 percent to $252.9 million. In terms of ad revenue and ad pages, it remains the No. 1 title.

The No. 2 business magazine in both categories is Fortune, which reported a 6.8 percent increase in ad revenue to $195.3 million and a 1 percent increase in ad pages to 1,539.23.

The No. 3 business magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, reported a 6.3 percent increase in ad revenue to $172.7 million and a 3.5 percent increase in ad pages to 1,291.1.

Among the three personal finance titles, Money performed the best in terms of ad revenue with a 10.4 percent jump to $122.1 million, but Kiplinger’s Personal Finance performed the best in terms of ad pages, with a 9.3 percent increase to 305.97. Money and Smart Money still had more ad pages than Kiplinger’s.

The data for all magazines can be read here.

Former Portfolio editor spotted

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Keith Kelly of the New York Post reports Wednesday that Joanne Lipman, a former Wall Street Journal editor and the editor of the defunct Conde Nast Portfolio, was spotted at The Daily Beast.

Kelly writes, “The sighting sparked speculation that Lipman is being sized up for a high-level job by Brown once the Daily Beast, owned by Barry Diller‘s IAC/Interactive Corp., completes its merger with Newsweek, recently purchased by 92-year-old stereo equipment mogul Sidney Harman.

“Both Lipman and Brown insisted there was no job interview afoot — just a friendly lunch with Felsenthal and a stopover by Brown.

“Lipman, a former top editor at the Wall Street Journal, was the launch editor of Portfolio in April 2007, just as the economic meltdown was taking hold.

“The magazine folded in April 2009 after only 21 issues and burning through an estimated $80 million of S.I. Newhouse’s money. Felsenthal was one of her top deputies at Portfolio.”

Read more here.

Biz magazine performance better, but still down in first quarter

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Business magazines continued to see their advertising revenue and pages decline in the first three months of the year, but at a slower pace than in 2009, according to an analysis of Publishers Information Bureau data by Talking Biz News.

The sector also performed better than the overall magazine industry

The 14 business magazines reported a decline 7.7 percent in ad pages for the quarter. That compares to a 9.4 percent decline for the overall magazine industry. (The data excludes ad pages from Conde Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business, both of which closed in the past year.)

In comparison, ad pages declined in business magazines by 28.7 percent in 2009.

The publications that performed the best included Inc., which saw a 17.8 percent increase in ad revenue and a 15.4 percent increase in ad pages, and Wired, which reported a 20.1 percent increase in ad revenue and an 11.2 percent rise in ad pages.

Fast Company reported a 16.9 percent increase in ad revenue and a 10.5 percent in ad pages, while Barron’s reported a 13.3 percent jump in ad revenue and a 7.5 percent increase in ad pages.

The worst performing business magazines during the quarter were the big three — Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune.

BusinessWeek reported a 17.8 percent decline in ad revenue to $27.9 million for the quarter, and an 18.7 percent decline in ad pages for the quarter to 210.49 pages.

Forbes reported a 15.6 percent drop in ad revenue to $46.9 million and a 20.3 percent decline in ad pages to 341.68 pages.

Fortune reported an 11.4 percent decline in ad revenue to $33.6 million and a 16 percent drop in ad pages to 265.63 pages.

Overall, the magazine industry reported a 3.9 percent decline in ad revenue. The 14 business magazines reported a 6.4 percent decline in ad revenue in the first three months of the year. Last year, the business magazines reported a 21.7 percent decline in ad revenue.

See all of the data here.

From Conde Nast Portfolio writer to a Web journalist

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Sheelah Kolhatkar writes for the New York Times on Sunday how former Conde Nast Portfolio writer Paul Smalera has made a career of writing for the Web after being laid off from the magazine when it closed.

Kolhatkar writes, “Paul was so bitter about what had happened to him that rather than wait for the bloggers to come for him, he did one better: he wrote a rant about his former employer and sent it to Gawker, which posted it in its entirety (‘Inside Fort Polio: A Former Staffer on What Went Wrong,’ the headline read).

“Assessing his next move, he knew that magazines and newspapers were not options — they were almost all shedding staff, and people with far more experience than he had were looking for work. ‘The Web was the only place I was going to go,’ he said. ‘I decided that without the heft of a big print magazine pushing my work out there that I needed to push it out there myself, and make sure that people who might be interested saw it.’ He entered the sea of tiny cutout heads broadcasting thoughts and opinions all day online. He tweets; he has an e-mail list; he posts links to his articles.

“And he scratches out his living through piecework, mostly by writing for an online business magazine that pays him $500 per article around once a week, and $50 each for a handful of shorter postings. He also writes a blog for a Web outfit that pays him $250 a month to try to generate traffic for its site. He is making progress; some larger Web sites and even print publications have asked him to contribute. ‘What are the goals now?’ he said. ‘I don’t even think about it in those terms right now. I’m just happy to be writing regularly. I’m treating it as a month-to-month thing.’”

Read more here.

 

Biz magazine ad revenue declined 22% in 2009, ad pages dropped 28.7%

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

Advertising in 15 business magazines in 2009 fell by $340 million, or 21.7 percent, to $1.23 billion, due to the lingering recession, according to a Talking Biz News analysis of numbers released Tuesday by the Publishers Information Bureau.

Advertising pages in those same 15 magazines fell by 28.7 to 12,844.59 pages, according to the data. The numbers exclude Conde Nast Portfolio, which closed in late April.

Not one of the 15 remaining business glossied reported an increase in ad revenue or ad pages for the year, and the biz magazine sector fared worse than the overall magazine industry, which posted an 18.1 percent decline in ad revenue and a 25.6 percent drop in ad pages. Since 2006, the business magazine field has lost more than $650 million in revenue and nearly 10,000 ad pages.

The worst performing business magazine in 2009 in terms of ad revenue was Inc., which lost 46.4 percent, down to $46.6 million. The worst performing magazine for the year in terms of lost ad pages was Wired, down 39.6 percent to 694.37 pages.

Forbes magazine remained No. 1 in terms of advertising revenue, but its ad revenue fell 25.6 percent to $251.5 million.

And it lost its top spot in terms of of ad pages. Forbes ad pages fell 30.2 percent to 1937.14, while the Economist saw its ad pages fall 20.2 percent to 1970.55.

Among the other large biz titles, BusinessWeek — which was sold last year to Bloomberg LP — reported a 31.2 percent drop in ad revenue to $162.4 million and a 33.8 percent fall in ad pages to 1,247.01. Fortune magazine reported similar numbers with a 33.9 percent drop in ad revenue to $182.9 million and a 36 percent decline in ad pages to 1,523.98.

The Economist was the best performing in terms of ad revenue, dropping 12.8 percent to $114.7 million. Entrepreneur magazine was the best performing in terms of ad pages, dropping 18.3 percent to 852.33 pages.

Top biz journalism events of the decade

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The first decade of the 21st century began with business journalists facing criticism for their boosterish coverage of companies during the tech bubble and ended with many of the same reporters facing more criticism for failing to warn consumers about the current economic crisis.

In between, the world of business journalism underwent dramatic changes that make the field only vaguely similar to what it looked like back on Jan. 1, 2000.

Talking Biz News believes the following 10 events — ranked in order of importance — were the most important to business journalism during the past decade. If you’d like to nominate another event, please post a comment.

1. The demise of the daily business section: At the beginning of the decade, standalone business sections in metro newspapers across the country were the primary source of news for those seeking information about business, the markets and the economy. As 2009 closes, they’re now an afterthought. Many of these papers have only themselves to blame — the cutting of printed stock listings and the downsizing of business news staffs have cut the quality and quantity of business news they provide.

2. The biz magazine shakeout: Goodbye Business 2.0, one of the hippest business magazines ever printed. Hello, and goodbye, to Conde Nast Portfolio. So long, Fortune Small Business and BusinessWeek SmallBiz. In addition, Inc., Fast Company and BusinessWeek were sold to new owners, Fortune cut its printed issues by 33 percent and Forbes sold a minority stake of itself. None have been able to find a new formula for success.

3. The rise of Bloomberg News: At the beginning of the decade, Bloomberg was simply another wire service that competed against the AP, Reuters, Dow Jones Newswires and the now-defunct Bridge News. Now, it has the largest staff of business journalists anywhere. It owns BusinessWeek magazine, and it’s overhauling its TV operations to compete with CNBC and Fox Business Network. The contest for business news dominance now appears to be a two-horse race between Bloomberg and Dow Jones.

4. Dow Jones sale to News Corp.: Rupert Murdoch added the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires in 2007 to his far-flung media operations. Along with the Fox Business Network, News Corp. now has a presence in delivering business news in every major platform. The Journal has continued to grow its subscription base and has led the pack in requesting consumers pay for business news online.

5. Cable biz news wars: After CNNfn went off the air in 2004, CNBC had the cable business news market to itself for the next three years, until 2007 when the Fox Business Network was launched. Amid criticism that it was too bullish at the beginning of the decade and too defensive of Wall Street at the end of the decade, CNBC continued to dominate business news on TV.

6. Lessons learned: Yes, business journalism was asleep at the wheel in failing to provide adequate coverage of tech, Internet and telecom companies in the first part of the decade. But many biz reporters learned their lesson, and the coverage in the latter part of the decade about the housing bubble and Wall Street problems was much better. And I don’t buy the argument that financial journalism should have warned consumers what was coming; we are not fortune tellers.

7. KHOU-TV’s coverage of bad tires: This was the 2000 coverage of the Firestone problems on Ford Explorers that led to dozens of deaths, and it was a stark reminder that the best business journalism is investigative and questions companies, searching for answers when a company stonewalls. It led to an overall more adversarial approach to business journalism for the rest of the decade.

8. Jon Stewart’s takedown of Jim Cramer: Forget the back and forth between the two combatants here. Simply put, “The Daily Show” hosts montage of bad calls by Cramer put into focus what every serious business journalist knows: You don’t ever predict something, particularly involving investments or money, in print or on the air. Sadly, Cramer’s not the only one who does this.

9. Pulitzer winners abound: From the 2002 win by Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times for her coverage of Wall Street to the 2008 win by Washington Post business columnist Steve Pearlstein and the 2009 win by Alexandra Berzon of the Las Vegas Sun, the Pulitzer committee recognized that business journalism was prescient and performed its watchdog role.

10. New delivery systems: iPhones and Blackberries now act as a transmitter of The Wall Street Journal and other major business media outlets. Twitter sends headlines of breaking news. Kindles and Sony Readers can do all and more. The newspaper is not dead as a medium of business news, but it now has more competition from a variety of options.

Business mags No. 2 category among dead glossies in 2009

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Vanessa Voltolina of Folio reports that of the 428 magazines that folded in 2009, only regional publications had more deaths than the business magazine category, according to data from MediaFinder.com.

Voltolina writes, “But while the number of ceased titles may be fewer than years past, there have also been fewer launches. There were only 275 startups this year versus 335 in 2008. Regional magazines topped the list with 21 launches, including Maine Magazine and B-metro Birmingham.

“Regionals, however, also topped the list of shutdowns (34), with titles such Atlanta Life and Denver Living going under. Business magazine shutdowns came in second (16), with casualties including BusinessWeek Small Biz, Condé Nast Portfolio and Fortune Small Business.

“The Health category had the second highest number of launches (15), including Scottsdale Health and Natural Awakenings. Food titles came next with 14 new magazines such as Food Network Magazine, Edible Queens, and Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade.”

Read more here.

More on the Portfolio.com relaunch

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American City Business Journals, the new operator of Portfolio.com, released some interesting details Monday about its relaunch of the business news site.

Portfolio.com’s series The Great Global Business Adventure, now underway, will run for a full year and is the product of embedding a reporter with a group of business owners exploring international expansion.

Another series, The New Risk, next looks at whether steps taken because of the economic crisis are really improving financial stability, concludes in January. In the first of what will become regular reports on emerging national trends, the site this week looks at how solar energy is being adopted by small and mid-sized businesses and the impact of community banks closing across the country.

Also on Monday, Portfolio.com launched “U.S. Uncovered,” a special section showcasing monthly demographic reports about the nation.

In addition to original content, Portfolio.com will draw from the journalism being produced by the local ACBJ business journals as well as select content from Conde Nast titles, such as Wired and Vanity Fair. On Monday, the site showcased an investigation from the Puget Sound Business Journal on why Federal regulators shut down Washington Mutual.

Portfolio.com also included an exclusive business news aggregator called bizWatch that can be fully customized by keyword or ticker symbol to track more than 9,000 public companies from thousands of news sources.

During the next few weeks, the content will expand to more than 200,000 companies that can be tracked, along with some 500,000 executives.

Read more here.

Portfolio.com reborn for small biz owners

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Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times writes Monday about how Portfolio.com has been remade under the direction of American City Business Journals after the print magazine attached to the site closed earlier this year.

Clifford writes, “Now, Portfolio.com, which had been sophisticated and sardonic, is being reinvented as helpful and earnest. Mr. Bradbury wants it to be a must-read site for small- and medium-size business owners. Other sites, like Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com, already cater to that audience.

“‘Both of them are offering more news you can use and have a lot of resource potential,’ J. Jennings Moss, Portfolio.com’s editor, said of Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com. ‘We’ve got a lot of resources as well — how to build a business, tips — but our focus is about finding different stories that matter in the news.’

“If Portfolio once delivered gossip about which power brokers were feuding, it now will cover topics like commercial real estate, economic development, health care, and where the stimulus money is going. The goal is to serve ‘local decision makers,’ Mr. Bradbury said. ‘Our tone is going to be more similar to what we have in our business journals,’ he said.

“Starting this week, the site will add new features, like a tool called BizWatch that lets readers click an icon to get updates on companies and executives from selected news sources. Mr. Moss is starting a series on risk, and local business journal coverage will be highlighted and compiled for trend pieces, like the status of solar energy in the various states. ‘For some of the best pieces, it is a national outlet for them, which they don’t have now,’ Mr. Bradbury said.”

Read more here.