Tag Archives: Conde Nast Portfolio

Portfolio killed Obama cover


Ryan Tate of Gawker writes Wednesday about how Conde Nast Portfolio editor Joanne Lipman killed a cover of President Barack Obama earlier this year.

Tate writes, “From the outside, Lipman’s impulsiveness is apparent in her curious cover choices. After the outbreak of the worst economic crisis in 70 years, she put a picture of clothier Dov Charney on the front of Portfolio. Next month, amid talk of bank nationalization and CEO immolation, the magazine’s cover will feature Sarah Palin.

“From inside the publication comes a tragic story involving a cover that never was: Barack Obama, shot by photo legend Annie Leibovitz at Lipman’s behest, for the December-January cover. Worried that everyone else would put the president-elect on the cover, Lipman is said to have killed the portrait after it was taken.

“So instead of what was believed to be exclusive work from star photographer Leibovitz, of the newly-elected president, timed exquisitely to front-run the inaugural buzz, Portfolio ended up with a concept image of a dead bull on Wall Street; clever, but severely tardy for a meltdown that shifted into overdrive nearly a full financial quarter earlier.”

Read more here.

Ex-VP candidate Palin on Portfolio cover


Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is on the cover of the next issue of Conde Nast Portfolio despite staff protests, writes Irin Carmon of Women’s Wear Daily.

Carmon writes, “The latest cover of Condé Nast Portfolio is, depending upon whom you ask, gutsy and counterintuitive or simply irrelevant. As the financial crisis grinds on, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is on the April cover, editor in chief Joanne Lipman confirmed.

“Palin apparently did not cooperate with the story by best-selling author Joe McGinniss, and the photographs are drawn from a Vogue shoot with Jonathan Becker for that title’s February 2008 issue (in which, it was later reported, she concealed her then-secret pregnancy with a parka). The move to put Palin on the cover met with some staff resistance, according to sources.

“In an e-mail, Lipman described the story as being about the former vice presidential candidate and ‘Big Oil, which is especially relevant now given plunging oil prices and increasing questions about Obama’s handling of the economic crisis.’ She added, ‘We’ve been breathlessly following the saga of Bristol and Levi, too, but alas, you won’t read about that in the pages of Portfolio :).’”

Read more here. 

Ratings down for CNBC and Cramer


Jeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio writes that business news network CNBC‘s ratings have begun to fall.

Bercovici writes, “Yesterday, I idly wondered whether all the hullabaloo over CNBC and how very wrong and/or out of bounds its commentators have been on some occasions will affect the network’s ratings, for good or ill. I put the question to you, my loyal legions, and a pretty decisive 78 percent of you predicted that all the criticism will hurt CNBC’s viewership.

“And while it’s too early to say if that prediction will be borne out — The Daily Show‘s initial broadside was only nine days ago — there is some very preliminary, very ambiguous evidence that perhaps the pummeling has begun to have an impact.

“In the first three days of this week, CNBC’s Business Day programming block was down 10 percent in the key demographic of adults 25-to-54 versus the same period the week before, and down 11 percent among total viewers. Meanwhile, Mad Money was also down 10 percent in the 25-to-54 demographic, but only 4 percent among all viewers — suggesting that maybe some of those bored college kids who watch Jon Stewart did, in fact, tune in to find out exactly what is the deal with this Jim Cramer character.”

Read more here.

Salmon leaving Portfolio for Reuters


Reuters announced Thursday the hire of renowned blogger Felix Salmon, who will head up a global financial blog, effective April 1.

In this new role based out of New York, Salmon will report to Jonathan Ford, editor-in-charge, commentary, who leads a global team of columnists and is responsible for increasing the number and variety of columns and blogs offered by Reuters.

“I am delighted to have secured Felix to head up the financial blog that we are planning, which we intend to be a must-read not only for Wall Street but for the City and the wider financial world,” said Ford in a statement. “Felix is an extremely talented financial blogger and a true original. He will add real value for Reuters and its massive community of financial readers in years to come.”

Salmon has been blogging since 1999, most recently for Market Movers, a financial blog on Portfolio.com. Salmon arrived in the United States in 1997 from England, where he worked at Euromoney magazine.

He also wrote daily commentary on Latin American markets for the former news service Bridge News, freelanced for a variety of publications, helped set up the New York bureau of a financial website, and created the Economonitor blog for Roubini Global Economics.

“I love to be wrong on the Internet, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be wrong in real life as well,” said Salmon in a statement. “The people I’ll be working with are all whip-smart and super-enthusiastic, the news and data resources of Thomson Reuters are unsurpassable, and we’ll be linking to the most insightful and provocative commentators in the world with great frequency and enthusiasm. I genuinely believe we’re going to create the best opinion website in the econoblogosphere, and I’m hugely excited to be a part of it.”

Biz journalists were not to blame


Duff McDonald, a contributing writer at New York and Conde Nast Portfolio, writes Wednesday for Slate that when it comes to doling out blame for the current economic crisis, business journalists should be way down on the list.

McDonald writes, “You know, speaking as a writer of business media, I am somewhat tired of the notion that we should have been writing in one voice against very specific things about which it was very difficult to know the intricate details. How were we to know the true extent of AIG’s credit-default swap exposure? The company’s 2005 10-K, for example, has two mentions of credit-default swaps, and they’re not exactly illuminating. Who was going to tell the curious reporter what the total possible downside was?

“I wish anybody the best of luck in prying that kind of information out of any public company that is not required to report it in detail. What’s more, every time something like this (e.g., dot-com bust, the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, the credit debacle) has happened, there have been plenty of instances in which people did write penetrating and challenging stories on the potential problems of the day.

“Take Jesse, for God’s sake. Everyone knows that the man is actually incapable of an article consisting only of praise — he’s been Portfolio‘s chief alarm-raiser since Day 1.”

Read more here.

Portfolio hits its stride during crisis


Jon Friedman of Marketwatch writes Wednesday about how two-year-old business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio appears to be clicking on all cylinders with its big-picture stories about the fall of Wall Street.

Friedman writes, “It has found its calling and voice as one of the most dogged chroniclers of the meltdown of the financial system. In fact, no magazine has done a better job of reporting, explaining and analyzing the U.S. financial crisis than Portfolio.

“In the March issue, Jesse Eisinger‘s column, ‘The Private Equity Meltdown Myth,’ and John Cassidy‘s piece, ‘Showing the Money’ added insight into the coverage of the Wall Street collapse.

“Back in May 2007, months before the collapse of Bear Stearns marked the start of the nation’s financial debacle, Eisinger wrote ‘The $300 Trillion Time Bomb.’ Cassidy and Michael Lewis — best known as the author of ‘Liar’s Poker’ and ‘Moneyball’ — have contributed keen understanding of the markets. Portfolio has found a consistency in its contents, but it has done its best work by chronicling Wall Street.”

Read more here.

Former Conde Nast Portfolio editors create site covering recession


Two former editors of Conde Nast Portfolio who were laid off from the business magazine have created a Web site chronicling the recession called Recessionwire.com, writes Andrew Adam Newman of the New York Times.

Newman writes, “Laura Rich and Sara Clemence, former assistant managing editor and lifestyle editor, respectively, for Portfolio’s Web site, teamed up with Lynn Parramore, an author and academic, to created a ‘user’s guide to the recession.’

“The site links to economics articles and has regular features like Lemonade Makers, on adapting to the financial crisis; Redux, essays by Ms. Parramore on how other downturns influenced art and fashion; and Love in the Time of Layoff, in which Deborah Siegel, a freelancer, chronicles how she and her husband adjust to his recently getting a pink slip.

“Ms. Clemence seemed to land on her feet on the morning of Jan. 28, when she accepted a Web editor job at another Condé Nast publication, Domino; a few hours later, she received a call informing her that the magazine was folding.”

Read more here.

Silicon Alley Insider names Colarusso as managing editor


Dan Colarusso, the former New York Post business editor who had run Conde Nast Portfolio‘s Web site for the past 15 months, is now the managing editor of Silicon Alley Insider.

Henry Blodget writes, “Dan has been a business and financial journalist for more than a decade. He was a columnist at TheStreet.com from 1997-2001 and Business Editor and City Editor at the New York Post for the next five years. Dan has written for The New York Times, Barron’s, Institutional Investor and Investment Dealers’ Digest, and is a frequent guest on CNBC.  In a year at the helm at Portfolio.com, he took the site from unnoticed to 3 million readers a month.

“What does this mean for SAI?  Even better reporting and writing.  And a Brooklyn-bred leadership style.

“Once at Portfolio, a senior Conde Nast staffer was mortified to hear angry howls emanating from an office. When the fuming Colarusso emerged after upbraiding a subordinate, the prim Conde Nastee asked Dan whether there ‘really had to be so much screaming around here.’”

Read more here.

Covering Davos changes for biz reporters


CNBC anchor Becky Quick writes for Conde Nast Portfolio about how covering the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland has changed in the past year.

Quick writes, “In years past, as journalists cozied up for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, the first question we’d ask one another was inevitably, ‘Who do you have lined up for interviews?’

“It’s that competitive streak we all feel. We have to measure up our ‘gets’ against each other. And we have to make sure we haven’t forgotten to ask an obvious newsmaker for a sit down.

“This year though, the question is slightly different: ‘Who’s canceled on you today?’

“Because this year, the headline guests are dropping like flies.”

Read more here.

Business magazines outperformed industry in 2008



The 16 business magazines currently tracked by Publishers Information Bureau lost less in ad revenue and ad pages than the overall industry, according to data released Tuesday that was analyzed by Talking Biz News.

The business publications reported a 2.8 percent decrease in ad revenue in 2008, down to $1.7 billion, and a 7.3 percent decline in ad pages, down to 18,677.59.

That compares to a 7.8 percent drop in ad revenue and an 11.7 percent decline in ad pages for the overall magazine industry.

Among the business magazines that performed the best were Fast Company and the Economist.

Fast Company posted a 29.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $46 million and a 23.9 percent increase in ad pages to 616.24. The Economist reported a 25.5 percent increase in ad revenue to $131.5 million and a 4.4 percent increase in ad pages to 2,468.28.

The only other business magazines to report gains in both categories were Fortune, Harvard Business Review and Conde Nast Portfolio. However, Portfolio was not published for an entire year in 2007.

Forbes retained its No. 1 spot in ad revenue and ad pages among the business titles. Its ad revenue fell 8.6 percent to $338 million, and its ad pages fell 14.3 percent to 2,775.34.

The three Time Inc. business magazines — Fortune, Fortune Small Business and Money — posted strong performances given the economy.

Fortune posted a 2.5 percent increase in ad revenue to $276.5 million, and a 0.1 percent increase in ad pages to 2,382.71. Fortune Small Business posted a 2.9 percent increase in ad revenue to $52.7 million and a 0.6 percent drop in ad pages to 474.48, while Money recorded a 0.8 percent drop in ad revenue to $151.1 million and a 1.7 percent decline in ad pages to 793.62.

The other major business title — BusinessWeek — reported a 12.7 percent drop in ad revenue to $236.1 million and a 16.1 percent decline in ad pages to 1882.38.

Inc. was the only other business title to record a gain in ad revenue.

See all of the data here.