Tag Archives: Fortune


Biz magazines underperform industry in first quarter


The 14 business magazines underperformed the rest of the magazine industry in the first quarter, according to data from Publishers Information Bureau.

Combined, the business titles reported a 2.95 decrease in advertising revenue to $245.4 million and a 5.9 percent drop in advertising pages to 2,289.43. That compares to a 1.6 percent decrease in ad revenue and a 4 percent decrease in ad pages for the overall industry.

The performance continues a trend of the business titles underperforming the industry. The 14 business magazines reported ad revenue of $1.33 billion in 2013, down 4.8 percent from 2012, according to data from the Publishers Information Bureau. In comparison, the consumer magazine industry reported a 1.1 percent increase in 2013.

The best performing business magazine for the first three months of 2014 was Inc., which reported a 25.9 percent increase in advertising revenue to $8.7 million and a 24.1 percent increase in ad pages to 101.32.

Behind it was Entrepreneur, which reported a 14.3 percent rise in advertising revenue to $23.2 million and a 14.9 percent increase in ad pages to 267.39.

Barron’s also reported a strong quarter, with advertising revenue rising 6.7 percent to $16.8 million and ad pages rising 3.1 percent rising to 305.87.

Among the big three business magazines, Forbes posted the best results, but all saw a decline in advertising revenue and advertising pages.

Forbes posted a 4.1 percent drop in ad revenue to $40.4 million and an 8.7 percent decline in ad pages to 242.98 for the quarter. Bloomberg Businessweek had a 6.6 decline in ad revenue to $33 million and a 10.6 percent drop in ad pages to 204.41, while Fortune had a 7.4 percent decline in ad pages to $38.5 million and a 10.8 percent decline in ad pages to 243.47.

The worst-performing business magazine was Black Enterprise, which had a 44.9 percent drop in ad revenue to $2.1 million and a 46 percent decline in ad pages to 44.61 in the quarter.

To review all of the data, go here.


NYSSCPA names financial journalism award winners


The New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants announced the winners of its 2014 Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards.

The nationwide contest — the 31st annual this year — recognizes reporters from the national and local press whose work was published, posted or broadcast in 2013 and contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics. Winners were selected by judges from the NYSSCPA and the New York Financial Writers Association who ranked submissions on accuracy, quality and thoroughness of research.
This year’s winners will be honored during a luncheon ceremony May 1 in New York City.
Book – Business/Financial:
Gregory Zuckerman for  “The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the Billionaire Wildcatters” (Portfolio/Penguin). In five years, the United States has seen a historic burst of oil and natural gas production, easing our insatiable hunger for energy. A new drilling process called fracking has made us the world’s fastest growing energy power, on track to pass Saudi Arabia by 2020. But despite headlines and controversy, no previous book has shown how the revolution really happened.
Print & Online:
Trade Press Category – News/Investigative:  David Evans, Bloomberg Markets, for “Fleeced by Fees.” Even as Wall Street has found countless ways to trick and profit excessively from its customers, the fees charged by managed futures funds are outrageous by all standards— and hidden.
Trade Press Category – Features: Janet Hewitt, Mortgage Banking, for “That Other American Dream” an in-depth look at the senior management and business strategy behind Ellie Mae, a unique company in the mortgage technology field that has found a way to be a success story in the face of epic headwinds.
Trade Press Category – Opinion: Kenneth Silber, Research, for “Who’s Kidding Whom?” a piece that focused on the risks of financial advisors “living in a bubble” and filtering out adverse information about public opinion and the political climate.
Consumer Press Category – News/Investigative: Cam Simpson, Bloomberg Businessweek, for “Stranded”  which follows the incredible tale of 1,500 Nepalese men as they are recruited in their homeland by job brokers who charge fees for the service, then flown to Malaysia where they’ll work at a Flextronics plant assembling cameras for the new phone. Once there, they’re stranded when Apple moves assembly to another plant.
Consumer Press Category – Features:  Peter Elkind and Doris Burke, Fortune,for “Amazon’s (Not So Secret) War on Taxes,” where the pair reveal how Jeff  Bezos’ company successfully battled to preserve his company online sales-tax exempt status by demanding, wheedling, suing, threatening, and negotiating—and how new alliances and strategies among Amazon’s enemies finally began turning the tide.
Consumer Press Category – Opinion: Dan Primack, Fortune, for “Where is Calpers’s Governance When You Need It?”, in Fortune, in this, one of his ongoing commentaries about private equity, venture capital, Wall Street, mergers and acquisitions, and other deal-related topics, Primack chides the corporate watchdog for its complicity in allowing a third-party “placement agent” to channel Calpers’s investments toward a private equity fund, all the while portraying itself as an unwitting victim
Category – Segment Running 10 Minutes or Less: Richard Quest, CNN International – In the summer of 2013 Richard Quest travelled to Texas to investigate both the day-to-day work of fracking, and its long-term economic impact.
Category – Segment Running More than 10 Minutes: Scott Cohn, CNBC, for “Critical Condition: Saving America’s Cities,” the historic bankruptcy of the city of Detroit in 2013 was not an isolated incident. As this series shows, no major city is without at least some of the same issues that sent Detroit over the edge.
Category – Segment Running 10 Minutes or Less:  Alisa Parenti with producer Tracy Johnke, Marketwatch.com Radio for “Housing on Fire: Tips for Buyers and Sellers” – As the housing market started to heat up again, Parenti and Johnke had a very simple goal: To help buyers and sellers maximize their positions in the finally-improving real estate market.
Category – Segment Running More than Ten Minutes: Gordon Deal, Wall Street Journal This Morning, 16-day segment series decoded the government shutdown’s impact on real people, the economy and business.
Fortune cover

Fortune.com seeks freelance producers


Fortune.com is looking for two full-time freelance producers for May and June, with the opportunity to join our team as a full-time staffer.

We are looking for producers who are detail-oriented, organized, and able to manage multiple production assignments during a very busy workday. Experience working in WordPress and other content management systems is a must, and we’ll give extra consideration to applicants with experience in business news.

To apply, go here.

Fortune 1930

Fortune magazine’s rich design history


J.J. Sedelmaier writes for Print about Fortune magazine’s design history.

Sedelmaier writes, “Although it was conceived and prepared while financial times appeared stable, Fortune Magazine was first published soon after the market crash in 1929 by Time Magazine co-founder Henry Luce. Its cover price was set at $1 — the equivalent of more than $15 today. Luce made a conscious effort to make the magazine as majestic and beautiful as he felt possible. Illustrators, designers, and fine artists all contributed to Fortune‘s covers and editorial illustrations, and it also dovetailed the early use of photography — especially color photography. Margaret Bourke-White was an early contributor and Walker Evans was its photo editor from 1945–65. Much of what we take for granted in present day business and corporate news reporting was pioneered in Fortune Magazine. The detailed behind-the-scenes dealings of what went on in the business world were usually not made public up to this point, and although this was clearly a case of preaching to the choir, you’ll be hard pressed to find a periodical of the time that presented the equivalent coverage of corporate goings on.

“Everything in the magazine was served to its loyal subscription base (newsstand sales were considered a bonus) like a sumptuous meal. Start with a beautifully designed cover. Add in a short section of classy advertising. Feed on a main course of multiple feature stories (interestingly unrelated to the subject on the cover). Then, finish with another final passage of advertising. This was Fortune Magazine for at least its first 10-15 years.

“In 1999, ‘Fortune: The Art Of Covering Business’ was released by Gibbs Publishing. It chronicles the covers of Fortune Magazine from its inception to 1950. It’s a nice addition to any library stocked with titles concerning graphics and publication design, but it lists ‘Unknown Artist’ for several of the covers even though in some cases the artists’ initials are clearly evident on the artwork. With a bit of sleuthing, I was able to discover that the ‘Unknown Artist’ with the ‘EAW’ initials on the lower right of the April and July 1930 covers is Edward A. Wilson. My thanks goes to both Steven Heller and Roger Reed for helping me determine this information. (As of right now, only the March 1930 issue and the color aerial picture of NYC on the July 1939 cover continue remain uncredited with the ‘Unknown Artist’ moniker.) The other important item missing from the Gibbs book is at least a mention of the pre-production prototype issue produced in September 1929 and labeled as Volume 1 Number 0. This dummy issue has rarely been showcased before.  Other than my prior inclusion of it as an example of Stark Davis’ work in my feature on ‘Ravinia Festival Program Covers,’ the only other time I’ve seen a mention of the prototype is in 2010 when the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill announced it had acquired a copy.”

Read more here.

Fast Company

Fast Company is finalist for Magazine of the Year


Fast Company was named Thursday as one of five finalists for Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

The National Magazine Awards will be presented on Thursday, May 1, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Bloomberg Businessweek and Money also received two nominations, while Wired received five nominations, including a nomination in the design category.

Bloomberg Businessweek is a finalist in the single-topic category for “Five Years From the Brink,” Sept. 16-22.

Money is a finalist twice in the personal service category for for “The Massachusetts Experiment,” June; “Worker, Heal Thyself,” August; and “Obamacare: Game (Really) On,” October, by Amanda Gengler; and for “101 Ways to Build Wealth,” May.

Wired is a finalist in the leisure interest category for “Crazy Good! Locos Tacos, Umami Burgers, Fake Meat, and the Miracle of Processed Food,” October.

Bloomberg Businessweek and Wired are also finalists in the tablet category, while Wired is a finalist in the multimedia category for “Vision Quest,” by Clive Thompson, September print issue and at wired.com.

Fortune is a finalist in the public interest category for “Dirty Medicine,” May 15, “Maker of Generic Lipitor Pleads Guilty to Selling ‘Adulterated Drugs,’” May 13, and “The Latest to Claim Fraud at Generic Lipitor Maker Ranbaxy: Its Owners,” May 23, by Katherine Eban.

Finally, Wired is a finalist in the feature writing category for “Dangerous,” by Joshua Davis, January.

See all of the finalists here.

Fact checking

Why fact checking is important in business journalism


Bethany McLean, a business journalist at Vogue, writes about the importance of fact checking in business journalism on LinkedIn.

McLean writes, “I got my job in 1995, just as the last golden age of magazine business journalism, fueled by heavy spending dotcom companies, was beginning. Time Inc, which owns Fortune, was itself just transitioning into the modern world. The fact checking department used to be dominated by women, who worked for mostly male writers, and was still run by a wonderfully old school woman named Rosalind Berlin.

“Ros, as we called her, took me out to lunch when I first got to Fortune, and explained the procedures. You had to have different color pens, so that you could put a red check over facts that had been confirmed, by, for instance, looking up the proper spelling of something in an official directory. Or if you were using an anecdote that the writer hadn’t reported, it had to have been printed in three separate publications. If you wanted to make a change on a story, you couldn’t bring it directly to the copy room. You had to go to the editor, who would then mark it on his version, which was the one that went to the copy room. There were protocols!

“She also explained that as a fact checker, I wasn’t just responsible for making sure things were spelled right. The fact checker was responsible for making sure that the overall gist of the story was accurate, that it was supported by the evidence. If the story was wrong, it was the lowly fact checker’s responsibility to fight it out with the lordly writer and editor, who, needless to say, often didn’t want to be corrected. You had to be able to stand your ground, because if you didn’t, and there was a mistake… well, it was on you.

“Then, I was given my first story to check. I vaguely remember that it was something about new mutual fund products, and it was written by a freelancer. It sounded good — that is, until I started checking it. In essence, the entire thing was wrong. Up until that point, words on the page, in their unambiguous black and white, had always conveyed such authority that I didn’t question them. I never read that way again. An editor once said to me that good writers were really dangerous because you could be so seduced by their writing that you simply drank in their unsupported leaps of logic.”

Read more here.

Tim Leong

Design director leaving Fortune


Tim Leong, the design director at Fortune magazine for the past eight months, is leaving the business magazine to run the design department at Entertainment Weekly.

Leong came to Fortune last August from Wired. Both Fortune and Entertainment Weekly are Time Inc. publications.

In an email to Talking Biz news, Leong writes, “I’m incredibly excited about this new opportunity, but sad to leave my amazing colleagues at Fortune.”

He previously the director of digital design at Wired, where he designed features and oversaw the design and interactives of the digital editions. He was the design director at Complex Magazine.

Before that he spent three years at Men’s Health. In 2005 he founded the Eisner-award losing Comic Foundry Magazine, which folded a few years later. Leong is currently on the board of the Society of Publication Designers. His first book, “Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe” was published in 2013 from Chronicle Books.

Leong is a University of Missouri graduate.


Fortune.com names news editor, Fortune hires listings editor


Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer sent out the following staff hire announcement on Monday afternoon:

We are delighted to annouce the arrival of two key employees to Fortune, Roland Jones and Scott DeCarlo. Both are highly talented and good people too. To paraphrase Dan Patrick over at SI, just our types.

Roland Jones will join Fortune.com as News Editor later this month. Before spending the past year as a Senior Editor for our own Time Inc. Content Solutions group, Roland spent 10 years at NBC News Digital in a variety of capacities, including editor of the financial and business news section for NBCNews.com, special projects editor, and a markets columnist. Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Roland got his B.A. at the University of Birmingham and his master’s in journalism at Columbia University. He’ll soon be graduating with a MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business. Roland will hire and oversee reporters for our forthcoming breaking news desk. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Sandra.

Scott DeCarlo comes to Fortune this week as our new List Editor. For the next few months, Scott will be working alongside Mike Cacace, who is retiring later this summer after doing a brilliant job for the past 17-plus years of overseeing the Fortune 500, Global 500, World’s Most Admired, and other lists. Scott joins us from Forbes, where he spent more than 24 years in the statistics department and was most recently the editor of the wealth team. He has an enormous amount of experience at turning data into editorial content. In his time at Forbes, Scott has helped produce the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, the Forbes 500 list of large companies, the Global 2000, the 400 Largest Private Companies list, and many more, including the current cover package on the World’s Billionaires. As we prepare for the re-launch of Fortune.com at the beginning of June, Scott will be working on new ways to highlight the list data that we produce digitally. Scott grew up just north of New York City, in Yonkers, and he always knew just about everybody in town. That’s because they all came in to Big Tony’s Jumbo Wedges, the deli that his grandfather, Big Tony, ran for years. (On top of his skill with databases, Scott makes a mean Italian combo hoagie.) After graduating from Iona College with a finance degree in 1989, Scott got his first job at Forbes as a temp in the stats department, requesting 10-Ks and 10-Qs from companies by fax or (gasp!) mail.  Scott lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Alexandra Kirkman, and their ragdoll cat, Francis.

Please join us in welcoming Roland and Scott.


Fortune names new publisher


Jed Hartman, group publisher of news and business at Time Inc., made the following announcement on Friday morning:

I am pleased to announce that Eric Danetz is the new Publisher of Fortune, overseeing US print, digital sales and marketing. Eric will report to me.

Eric comes to us from Defy Media where he has been the Chief Revenue Officer overseeing US sales, marketing and strategy. Prior to Defy, Eric has led sales teams at Newsweek Daily Beast, CBS Interactive and CNET, following roles at IDG, Business Week and Ziff Davis. His well rounded leadership experience in the video, display, mobile and the print space across the tech, finance and consumer categories makes him extremely well suited to drive the Fortune brand to new heights especially with the exciting launch of fortune.com fast approaching. Further rounding out the package, Eric is an enormous car and watch enthusiast. The passion for and knowledge of these vital Fortune categories will add to our capabilities for delivering for these clients.

When not in the office Eric enjoys taking a hike with his wife Tricia and their dog Ellie or coaching his son Jack and daughter Dylans’ basketball and baseball teams. Given the opportunity he might get in a couple of sets of tennis, a round of golf or a day on the slopes but his true passion is behind the wheel of a race car on a local track.

Eric, Andy Bush, Mike Schneider and Damian Slattery will be one heck of a team to drive our business forward. Please welcome Eric Danetz to the Fortune and Time Inc family.

Dan Primack

Primack to co-chair Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech


Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer sent out the following announcement on Tuesday:

I am delighted to announce that Dan Primack will become a co-chair of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference.

As we all know Dan does an amazing job putting out his award-winning newsletter Term Sheet, breaking stories online, writing columns in the magazine, and hosting his Liquidity Event meet-ups, (which we also plan to expand going forward.) Some highlights: Term Sheet subscribers are up 54% from a year ago, and Dan’s scoops recently have included Justin Bieber investing in a social network, Tim Draper stepping down as a partner at DFJ, management changes at Kleiner Perkins, Warby Parker’s valuation and new fundraises by Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, USV and Accel Partners.

Exclusives include first post-firing interview with Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmerman. And more. Now Dan will bring his great knowledge-base and reporting skills to help his co-chairs, Stephanie Mehta, Adam Lashinsky and Jessi Hempel, take Brainstorm Tech to even greater heights.

As you all know, there is fantastic momentum in our conference division, with revenue, attendance and breaking news way up and a number of exciting new programs around the world added to the calendar, including our first-ever Brainstorm Tech Dinner in Las Vegas this winter.

We’re excited to have Dan helping look for even more ways to expand Brainstorm Tech. Please join me in congratulating Dan.