Tag Archives: Conde Nast Portfolio

Inaugural Portfolio cover photo reappears as book cover


Leon Neyfakh of The New York Observer writes about how the photo that graced the cover of the first issue of the now-closed Conde Nast Portfolio magazine two years ago is coming back as the cover of Jonathan Lethem’s novel “Chronic City.”

Neyfakh writes, “The eye-catching photo, taken from the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building by Scott Peterman, shows a city that is churning and gleaming ominously. Every light in every office window appears to be on, as if every building in the frame is coursing with electricity. Mr. Peterman said the photo, titled Surge, was conceived specifically for the Portfolio cover as an homage to a similar shot taken during the Great Depression from the exact same spot on the observation deck, by Berenice Abbott.

The obvious question: Is it a bad omen that Mr. Lethem’s new novel dons artwork that was commissioned for the inaugural issue of a magazine that imploded after just two years?

“Nah, says Doubleday director of publicity Alison Rich. ‘We’ve heard nothing but excitement and enthusiasm for this book among booksellers and critics,’ she said in an email, ‘and we’re tremendously excited for its publication in October.’”

Read more here.

Colarusso joins Bloomberg TV


Dan Colarusso is joining Bloomberg TV as its new managing editor for U.S. television. He’ll be responsible for the content and editorial direction for the network in the U.S.

The former managing editor, John Meehan, was let go earlier this year as part of a huge purge at Bloomberg’s TV and radio operations.

Prior to joining Bloomberg TV, Colarusso was managing editor at Silicon Alley Insider and managing editor at Conde Nast Portfolio.com. Before that he was metro editor at the New York Post, and business editor at the New York Post. He has also written for the New York Times, Barron’s and The Daily Beast.

Colarusso, a Brooklyn native, joined the Post in 2002 from TheStreet.com. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus and worked at Business Tokyo and Securities Weeks. At TheStreet.com, Colarusso was associated editor and consulted on story ideas and wrote a weekly column called “Truth Serum” and features. He also frequently appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Portfolio.com relaunches


J. Jennings Moss, the editor of Portfolio.com, writes about the relaunch of the Web site of the former business magazine. The site is now being run by American City Business Journals.

Moss writes, “We’ll profile the executives and companies that rule the NYSE and Nasdaq, as well as the entrepreneurs who are creating the next big thing. We’ll also present the best business coverage from other Condé Nast publications. And we’re now backed by an army of 650 business journalists at ACBJ’s weekly business newspapers in 40 cities around the country, as well as at Sports Business Journal and Sporting News.

“Make no mistake. Even though both the look and feel are the same, this will be a different site from the one that came before. The new Portfolio.com will dig deeper into selected industries—health care, technology, banking and finance, advertising and marketing, media, aviation, and more—and will present a wider range of stories from across the nation.

“Today, we launch two new blogs: Pressed by Matt Haber, about the sea change in the media industry; and Heavy Doses by Brett Chase, which chronicles the business of health care. Also today, we present Numberology, a fun interactive look at a number in the news.”

Read more here.

NYT, WSJ, Bloomberg News, Charlotte Observer among Loeb winners



The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald and the Charlotte Observer were among the winners of the annual Gerald Loeb Awards, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of business journalism.

In the large newspaper category, The Times won for a series called “The Reckoning,” which explored the causes behind the current financial crisis.

In the medium and small newspaper category, the Miami Herald won for “Borrowers Betrayed,” which uncovered that Florida has licensed more than 1,000 convicted felons as mortgage brokers and has allowed 2,000 felons to work as unlicensed loan originators.

David Leonhardt of the New York Times magazine won in the magazine category for “Obamaonomics.”

Brian Carney of The Journal won in the commentary category for a series of columns about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Journal also won in the breaking news category for “The Day that Changed Wall Street.”

The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Rothacker won in the beat reporting category for his coverage of Wachovia Corp. Also winning in the beat reporting category was Gretchen Morgenson of the Times for her Wall Street coverage.

MSN Money won in the online category for “Middle Class Crunch,” while William Selway and Martin Z. Braun from Bloomberg News won in the news service category.

Michael Lewis of the now-defunct Conde Nast Portfolio won in the feature writing category for “The End,” a look at changes on Wall Street.

“60 Minutes” won both of the television categories, with its breaking news piece “Economic Crisis: House of Cards,” on the subprime mortgage crisis, and enterprise segment “The Wasteland,” about the toxic remains of recycled electronics.

Charles R. Morris of Public Affairs won in the business book category for “Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash.”

The awards were given at a dinner in New York on Monday night.

Loeb Award picks for tonight



The Gerald Loeb Awards, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of business journalism, are being handed out at a dinner in New York on Monday night.

Here are my selections. I am basing them on what I have read in the past year, as well as the reputation of the journalists and publications involved. See all of the finalists here and tell me where you think I made the wrong selection.

Large Newspaper Category

Gretchen Morgenson, Peter S. Goodman, Charles Duhigg, Carter Dougherty, Eric Dash, Julie Creswell, Jo Becker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Stephen Labaton for “The Reckoning” in The New York Times. I have changed my vote here, although I still like the Washington Post entry on AIG very much.

Medium and Small Newspaper Category

Ames Alexander, Franco Ordoñez, Kerry Hall and Ted Mellnik for “The Cruelest Cuts” in The Charlotte Observer. A hometown pick, I admit, but a great inside look at the poultry industry and the injuries that result. The Miami Herald series on the scum in the Florida real estate market is also strong.

Magazines Category

Michael Lewis for “The End” in Condé Nast Portfolio. One of the best writers today taking on the dramatic changes on Wall Street.

Commentary Category

Brian M. Carney for “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” in The Wall Street Journal.

Breaking News Category

Robin Sidel, Dennis K. Berman, Kate Kelly, Carrick Mollenkamp, Mark Whitehouse, Serena Ng, Randall Smith and E. S. Browning for “Collapse of Bear Stearns” in The Wall Street Journal. Great inside detail in the reporting.

Beat Writing Category

Rick Rothacker for “The Fall of Wachovia” in The Charlotte Observer. Going with the hometown pick again, but no one has covered this story better than Rothacker.

News Services Category

William Selway and Martin Z. Braun for “Broken Promises” for Bloomberg News.

Feature Writing Category

Kate Kelly for “The Fall of Bear Stearns” in The Wall Street Journal. The book she wrote about Bear Stearns was even better.

Online Category

Gretchen Morgenson, Louise Story, Tara Siegel Bernard and Jenny Anderson for “The Debt Trap” for The New York Times.

Television Breaking News Category

Steve Kroft and L. Franklin Devine for “Economic Crisis: House of Cards” on CBS News/60 Minutes. I am a big fan of 60 Minutes.

Television Enterprise Category

Steve Kroft and Andy Court for “The Price of Bananas” on CBS News/60 Minutes.

Business Book Category

Niall Ferguson for “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World” published by The Penguin Press. Changed my vote here at the last minute. 

More than 250 business journalism jobs lost in first six months



More than 250 business journalists lost their jobs due to media closings, layoffs or newsroom buyouts in the first six months of 2009, according to an analysis of the industry by the Carolina Business News Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The layoffs include the entire staff of Conde Nast Portfolio, a two-year-old business glossy that closed its doors in late April. An estimated 80 journalists on its staff lost their jobs, including editor Joanne Lipman. Some of the Web staff kept their jobs when the Portfolio site was taken over by American City Business Journals.

The biggest cuts in the past six months, however, occurred at Bloomberg, where 100 reporters and editors in the company’s TV and radio operations lost their jobs in February.

The total number only includes layoffs that have been confirmed by media outlets or by current and former employees of media outlets where jobs were cut. We believe that the actual number is higher than 250.

Among daily newspapers, the business news desks at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Rocky Mountain News and Tucson Citizen were eliminated when those papers stopped printing. A dozen lost their jobs in Denver, while six business desk positions were cut in Seattle.

Layoffs also hit the business desks of the Chicago Tribune, which lost four business reporters in May, and the San Antonio Express-News, where four business journalists were laid off and another two accepted a buyout. Four business journalists were also laid off at the Houston Chronicle biz desk, and two were laid off from the biz desk at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Buyouts affected the business desk of the San Francisco Chronicle, where two reporters accepted the paper’s offer and two others were laid off, and at the Boston Globe, where three staffers took the buyout and at least one reporter was laid off.

At the Fresno Bee in California, business editor Mike Nemeth lost his job as part of a newsroom downsizing, as did Lexington Herald-Leader business editor Jeff Beach.

On the bright side, Detroit Free Press business editor Randy Essex told me this past week that the business desk there was spared any cuts when the paper laid off 22.

On May 1, American City Business Journals employees were told that five newspapers within the chain would have layoffs: Charlotte, Boston, Seattle, Sacramento, Hawaii and San Francisco, which let go many of the employees that had been transferred from the former East Bay Business Times, which closed last year. The decision to lay people off was made shortly after the chain announced a pay cut.
This past month, the chain’s Mass High Tech paper also had layoffs as it cut its publication schedule from once a week to once every other week.
The Crain papers have also been affected. It shut its New York-based Financial Week and its Web site, cutting a dozen editorial staff positions.
SmartMoney, Forbes and Enterpreneur were among the business magazines that cut editorial staff jobs.

The base is hard to determine, but I estimate that there are at least 8,000 working business journalists in the United States. So, annualized, the losses would be about a 6 percent cut.

Portfolio stories ending up elsewhere


Keith Kelly of the New York Post writes Friday about how stories slated to run in the now-closed Conde Nast Portfolio are appearing in other publications.

Kelly writes, “An article about the sons of convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff by David Margolick was originally set to run in Joanne Lipman‘s Portfolio, but when S.I. Newhouse Jr. pulled the plug on the business magazine earlier this spring, the story, which had already been edited, ran instead in the current issue of Vanity Fair.

“‘Yes, the piece was done for Portfolio and was virtually finished when the magazine folded,’ said Margolick. ‘The managing editor, Jacob Lewis, told me that I could take the story somewhere else — the normal rule is that they’d have owned it for a few months — and that very day I sent it to [Vanity Fair Editor] Graydon [Carter], who quickly said he’d like it.’

“Margolick, who left Vanity Fair 2½ years ago to join Portfolio, said he still owed VF a story under his old contract, and Carter let the Madoff sons story settle up that debt. He also said he’s accepted a job at Newsweek and starts there in September.

“Meanwhile, last Sunday the front page of the business section of The New York Times featured a story about the Yellowstone Club by Amy Wallace, another contributing writer from Portfolio.

“That story, too, was slated to run in Portfolio.”

Read more here.

Three of top 10 media events in past decade were biz journalism


Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman, celebrating his 10th year as a media writer, compiles his list of the top 10 most intriguing events in the industry in the past decade, and three of them are business journalism related.

Here they are:

3. The acquisition of Dow Jones: News Corp. accomplished the unthinkable by scooping up the company that owned The Wall Street Journal and other media platforms. While many pundits initially recoiled in horror, the “new” Journal — both in print and online — is a snappy, wide-ranging operation that continues to put the news first. (News Corp. is also the parent of MarketWatch, the publisher of this column.)

9. The Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer smackdown: Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” dressed down Jim Cramer, the loud talker from CNBC, in the wake of the financial crisis. Fair or not, Stewart accused Cramer and CNBC of failing to educate viewers and relying on show-biz flourishes instead of solid information about the Wall Street meltdown.

10. The closure of Portfolio: The “Gigli” of magazines was the most-hyped launch in recent publishing history. But Conde Nast’s business magazine failed to bump Fortune, BusinessWeek and Forbes out of the picture and became a poster child of the media’s bitter recession.

Read more here.

ACBJ/Portfolio are the odd couple


Dan Mitchell of The Big Money writes Thursday that the combination of American City Business Journals taking over the Portfolio.com site is odd.

Mitchell writes, “The site will employ five editorial staffers, but the announcement gives no indication, other than aggregation and headline-writing, of what they will do. Josh Moss, Portfolio.com’s managing editor, will be the ‘lead editor.’ But ‘full power,’ including editorial power, will go American City, in the words of the New York Observer‘s John Koblin. That power will be wielded to give Portfolio a ‘stronger focus on industry news’ and ‘to offer information relevant to today’s business professionals,’ said Tim Bradbury, president of American City.

“The company’s announcement continued: ‘The site now will have access to local market intelligence and work collaboratively with ACBJ newsrooms across the country, presenting the most important local insights through a national lens and making it unique among national business media.’

“How that differs substantively from American City’s current hub, bizjournals.com, is not clear.

“Who knows, maybe they’re just keeping the domain name active to prop up its value until the economy improves and it can be sold for a decent price. In the meantime, this amalgamation seems to make little sense, at least from a reader’s perspective.”

Read more here.

ACBJ deal for Portfolio site closes


Portfolio.com will migrate to a new home as part of the American City Business Journal’s bizjournals.com effective in July, according to a release expected to be sent out later Wednesday.

Bizjournals.com will oversee both the editorial and business sides of the site. The Portfolio.com editorial team and sales staff will be based in New York. In addition to newly created content, the site will share content with other Condé Nast sites such as Wired.com, GolfDigest.com, and WWD.com, as it did before.

American City Business Journals and Condé Nast are owned by the same parent company. The print edition of Portfolio closed last month after a two-year run.

The site will also remain the home of the archives of all the content published by Portfolio’s print and digital properties over the past 24 months.

“We are excited about continuing Portfolio.com and including the site in the bizjournals network because we were impressed by Portfolio’s strong web presence, its clean and crisp design, and its voice in the business journalism marketplace,” said Tim Bradbury, president of new media at American City Business Journals, in a statement. “We believe our readers will benefit as the re-launched Portfolio.com will have a stronger focus on industry news and a greater mission to offer information relevant to today’s business professionals.”

Portfolio.com will leverage the skills and insights of the more than 600 ACBJ business journalists around the country. The site now will have access to local market intelligence and work collaboratively with ACBJ newsrooms across the country, presenting local insights through a national lens and making it unique among national business media.