Tag Archives: Forbes
Jeff Bercovici of Forbes.com reports that the popular Freakonomics blog is leaving the New York Times online business page next month for its own site.
Bercovici writes, “Chad Troutwine, producer of the ‘Freakonomics’ documentary released last fall, recently sent around an email soliciting candidates for an ‘editor and media strategist’ to run the new site, Freakonomics.com. ‘As Employee #1, this person will have the chance to take an influential position in what we believe will be a media juggernaut (OK, that may be a stretch, but we are confident in the site’s ability to attract millions of visitors almost immediately),’ Troutwine wrote. ‘We are not publicly announcing the NY Times migration in advance, so please keep this confidential for now.’
“Freakonomics has been part of the Times since August 2007. I emailed Troutwine to ask whether the decision to split now had anything to do with the coming of the paywall, which I’m now hearing won’t be happening before early February. Times executives have said that visits to the paper’s blogs will count toward the limits allowed under the new metered model. I haven’t heard back from Troutwine yet, but a Times spokeswoman says, ‘I can’t really answer the question as to how the pay model might have impacted Freakonomics, but I can tell you that their planned departure was a mutual decision by both The Times and Freakonomics and the pay model was not a major factor in that decision.’”
Read more here.
Frank and Adams write, “Until recently, Forbes has been the king of the rich lists, with its 29-year-old Forbes 400 list of Richest Americans and its World’s Billionaires list. It has tried to extend its success with the Celebrity 100 list of the richest celebrities and Forbes Fictional 15 of richest fictional characters.
“The lists remain the lifeblood of Forbes, which has been beset by layoffs, management changes and declining ad revenue. The publication of lists of global billionaires, the richest Americans and the most powerful celebrities typically are the highest-trafficked periods of the year on Forbes.com, a person familiar with the matter said. Forbes also sells sponsorship packages around those lists to capitalize on the traffic spike. Its lucrative conference business draws in part on the access to billionaires provided by the rich lists.
“The 2009 print issue of the richest Americans sold 54,524 copies on the newsstand, making it one of the best-selling issues of the year. However, that is a 40% drop-off from the 90,623 copies sold just two years earlier, according to the most recent statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.”
Read more here.
Lewis Dvorkin, the chief product officer at Forbes, writes Monday about the changes coming to the business magazine’s site.
Dvorkin writes, “Our new Channel pages — for Investing, Technology, Business and many others — launch in just a few weeks. You can see a current Channel page here, and a mock of the new Channel page below (click image to enlarge).
“In building these pages, we had various constituencies in mind — consumers, marketers and, of course, our editors, staff writers and contributors. We wanted the pages to be authoritative, dynamic and transparent — and to embody the elements and functionality of social media.”
Dvorkin later adds, “Later in the year we will update the Home Page with exciting new functionality that focuses on aggregation, personalization and social media.”
Read more here.
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.
RIABiz.com, a site that covers the independent advisor industry, has agreed to syndicate its content on Forbes.com.
Elizabeth McBride, the editor and CEO of RIABiz.com, writes, “The agreement marks a new level in our company’s development. The economics of Internet publishing mean that RIABiz needs to continue bringing new readers to our site, so that we can continue offering our content for free.
“What may be more interesting for readers, however, is the high level of interest that we have seen lately from big media organizations like Forbes.com. We’ve been approached by several companies (you’d recognize the names!) looking to add stories about independent financial advisors to their coverage of financial services.
“Forbes.com made the most sense to us because of its well-known brand, and the fact that its general business news focus meant that we weren’t competing directly with it. The fact that it has 18 million unique visitors a month (according to the totals on its site) didn’t hurt.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Here are Talking Biz News’ top business journalism events for the year 2010:
10. Ad revenue returns to business magazines. After suffering two years of declines in advertising revenue and advertising pages, the third quarter of 2010 saw the 14 business magazines report a 7.9 percent increase in advertising revenue and a 5.4 percent rise in advertising pages. That compares to a 5.3 percent increase in ad revenue and a 3.6 percent increase in ad pages for the overall magazine industry. And Bloomberg Businessweek says it returned to positive growth in the fourth quarter.
9. Lou Dobbs returns to business journalism. The longtime business anchor at CNN had gotten away from a traditional business news show before he left the cable network in 2009. In 2010, he signed a deal to return to the air with Fox Business Network. Dobbs is a polarizing figure who will draw attention to Fox Business as it attempts to unseat CNBC as the No. 1 business news channel.
8. Business media apps proliferate. There were dozens of applications for smart phones, iPads and other technology launched by business news organizations in 2010, resulting in additional revenue and additional readers. Our favorite: The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal on iPad.
7. “Nightly Business Report” is sold. The longtime public broadcasting business news show was sold in 2010 after being owned for more than 30 years by a Miami PBS station. There’s been some changes at the program, including a small reduction in staff, and some changes in content.
6. Bloomberg Businessweek’s redesign. The overhaul, launched in April, showed that its new owners were serious about keeping the weekly around after many predicted its demise. It’s now got much more of an edge and an attitude.
5. Shakeout among business journals. While business journals such as the Ocala Business Journal and the Blue Ridge Business Journal stopped publication, and business weeklies owned by Brown Publishing were sold across the country after it filed for bankruptcy court protection, American City Business Journals — the dominant player in the weekly market — got stronger by redesigning its sites and launching smart phone apps for all of its 40 papers. ACBJ also announced that it was returning a 5 percent pay cut it mandated in 2009 to its employees in early 2011.
4. Bloomberg decides to take over the world. No business journalism organization has been more aggressive in the past 12 months in expanding its reach. The New York-based Bloomberg News launched a number of newsletters and unveiled BGov, a new editorial service that will cover the intersection of business and government. It also announced it would be starting an editorial page in 2011.
3. Forbes’ top-to-bottom overhaul. The business magazine brought in chief product officer Lewis Dvorkin to lead a radical revamp of its entire operations. But, its changes have not come without criticism, as some have questioned its decision to allow companies to provide blog content on its site.
2. Bloomberg and Fox Business sue the federal government. Both news organizations want the federal government to release documents that show what was done to help Wall Street firms and other businesses during the economic crisis. After a protracted battle, it appears that business media has won. Their actions show that business media is looking out for the best interests of its consumers.
1. Hiring returns to business journalism. Talking Biz News estimated that roughly 400 business journalists lost jobs in 2009 as many media organizations cut back on their business news desks. However, in 2010, Talking Biz News estimates that 250 jobs were added in the field of business journalism, primarily at the wire services — Associated Press, Bloomberg (with at least 100 going to work for BGov), Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters all added to their business news staffs in the past 12 months. The Wall Street Journal also added to its staff, and other media, such as the Financial Times with its new FT Tilt product, also hired.
Erik Sherman of BNET reports that Forbes.com is taking free content from bloggers and wants to resell it in other formats.
Sherman writes, “In other words, Forbes can take any free blog material and use it in any of its magazines or give permission to any other publisher that has licensed the Forbes name. It can sell rights to others to use the blog posts and also sell reprints. These rights last forever and extend to all wireless and mobile. And the writers get nothing.
“This is irony thick enough to cut, to say nothing of the stance being fundamentally dismissive of the writers that publisher wants to attract. If something is worth selling, it is worth paying for. Then again, I recently spoke with someone who worked for DVorkin when he still had True/Slant — before he sold it to Forbes, locked in his new job, and cut loose most of the writers who had helped build the site.
“‘We all got a form letter — a form letter: Your contract is up,’ the person said. ‘Thank you for your help. It was [addressed] ‘Dear contributor.’ They couldn’t even fill in our names. If he was having a heart attack in the gutter, I wouldn’t call 911.’ Ouch. At least he was paying writers something back then. Call the Forbes.com angle a refinement. Who said you can’t take it with you?”
Read more here.
Melanie Wells, a Forbes Media executive editor who covered marketing and advertising, is leaving the magazine to become a managing director and chief content officer of a public relations firm.
Wells was also an assistant managing editor at Forbes. Since she joined the magazine as a senior editor in 1999, she has assigned and edited stories that have appeared throughout the magazine. She has also written more than 10 cover stories. One article analyzed Jet Blue’s financial and marketing success. Another piece examined the strange power of so-called cult brands.
“It’s a great opportunity with a lot of potential,” said Wells in an e-mail to Talking Biz News. “I’m excited for a new year and a new adventure!”
Before joining Forbes, Wells spent five years as a business reporter and marketing columnist for the “Money” section at USA Today in New York. Prior to that, she was a writer and columnist at Advertising Age.
Forbes is beginning a new project where it plans to determine how much Web traffic is driven by advertising, writes Matt Kinsman of Folio.
“MediaVest is helping Forbes select advertising partners for the test, as well as providing its print effectiveness technology. The partners will develop a custom survey for a random sampling of magazine subscribers who can opt-in to participate. comScore will compile the results.
“‘Forbes recently invested in the most significant re-architecture of our magazine in our 93-year history,’ says Meredith Kopit Levien, senior vice president and group publisher at Forbes, in a statement. ‘As a result, print advertising is growing, and we just published our largest issue in past three years. Now we are launching print ad effectiveness research to provide our marketing partners with new accountability tools to measure online behavioral changes as a direct result of their investment in Forbes magazine.’”
Read more here.
Amanda Andrews, the media editor of The Telegraph in London, writes that Forbes will launch a European edition in 2011.
Andrews writes, “Forbes Europe will be based in London or Paris and it will probably launch in 2011. Mr Forbes said he had spoken to European advertisers and there had been a lot of interest in Forbes Europe.
“‘Even though everyone is focused on Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain, there is a recovery coming. And this is precisely the right time to move in. We want it [Forbes Europe] to be entrepreneurial. This is the right time for a European magazine,’ he said.
“The company currently publishes Forbes and Forbes Asia, which together reach a worldwide audience of more than 6m readers. There are also licensee editions in many countries from China to Croatia.
“While the licensee editions are local language versions of Forbes, Forbes Europe‘s content, like Forbes Asia, would be in English with original, local content.”
Read more here.