Tag Archives: Fortune

Fortune's Sloan speaks


Allan Sloan, the senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, spoke Friday afternoon at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers about how he got his start in business journalism.

Fortune’s Sloan speaks


Allan Sloan, the senior editor at large for Fortune magazine, spoke Friday afternoon at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers about how he got his start in business journalism.

Bloomberg Businessweek ad pages up 49 percent in first quarter


Bloomberg Businessweek saw a 49 percent increase in advertising pages in the first three months of the year, according to data released Wednesday by the Publisher’s Information Bureau.

Its ad revenue rose 65 percent to $46.2 million for the quarter, easily the best performance among the business magazines.

Fast Company and Wired magazine also posted double-digit gains in the first quarter. Fast Company reported a 20 percent increase in ad pages and a 24.7 percent increase in ad revenue to $7.9 million. Wired’s ad pages rose 41.3 percent, and its ad revenue rose 55.8 percent to 19.1 million.

Bloomberg Businessweek increased its share of the advertising market among The Economist, Fortune and Forbes, gaining 6.7 points, while the other three magazines posted declines in share.

In April 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek relaunched with a new design and a complete rethinking of the newsweekly format.  The magazine has increased the number of issues it publishes each year from 47 to 50 and increased the number of editorial pages by 20 percent.

“While our competitors have had to retrench, Bloomberg Businessweek has been opening new sales offices, hiring top talent, and adding new products and platforms to offer advertisers engaging ways to reach our audience,” said Hugh Wiley, publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek in a statement. “Our first quarter results are proof positive that advertisers have embraced our redesign and that our continued investment in the brand is paying off.”

The magazine will announce a new iPad app this month.

Among its competitive set, which collectively posted a 6 percent increase in pages, Bloomberg Businessweek far outpaced The Economist, which posted a 4 percent increase, and Forbes and Fortune, which fell 10 percent and 5 percent respectively.

Forbes reported a 4.4 percent decline in ad revenue to $44.8 million, while Fortune’s ad revenue rose slightly in the quarter to $33.7 million. The Economist’s ad revenue rose 7.6 percent to $30.5 million.

See all of the magazine data here.

Biz magazines named finalists for National Magazine Awards


Five business magazines were named finalists Tuesday for the annual National Magazine Awards, given out by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Fast Company is a finalist in the general excellence category for its July-August, September and November issues.

Bloomberg Markets is a finalist in the lifestyle, finance and technology category.

Fortune is a finalist in the design category for its March 22, May 3,  and Nov. 1 issues. Wired magazine is also a finalist in the category for its June, July and August issues.

Bloomberg Businessweek is a finalist in the single-topic issue category for its year in review issue.

Wired’s “Play” section is a finalist in the section category. Its “Blood Simple” from the December issue is a finalist in the personal service category.

See all of the finalists here.

The most influential business news organizations


Reuters ranks No. 3, The Wall Street Journal No. 4 and Bloomberg News No. 5 in a ranking of news organizations who have had their reporting cited the most in Google News and Google Blog searches in the past month, according to data compiled by  New York Times blogger and statistics-dicer extraordinaire Nate Silver.

Jeff Bercovici, commenting on the data, writes, “Scrolling through it, one thing that jumped out at me was how far along Bloomberg is towards its stated goal of being the world’s most influential news organization. Bloomberg comes in at No. 5, with 4.5 percent of all citations. While that puts it behind head to head competitors like Reuters (7.7 percent) and The Wall Street Journal (6.8 percent), consider that Bloomberg News has been around for 21 years. All the other organizations in the top five were founded in the 1800s.

“Compared with the others, Bloomberg is cited relatively infrequently in Google News, getting a disproportionate share of its mentions on blogs. Is there some reason other news organizations are reluctant to credit Bloomberg’s reporting?

“Forbes, in case you’re wondering, is No. 54, immediately behind CNBC, but well ahead of The Economist (No. 86), Businessweek (No. 121) and Fortune (No. 133).”

Read more here. The full list is here. Other business news media on the list include TechCrunch (No. 47), All Things D (No. 133), Apple Insider (No. 147), Mac Rumors (No. 149), VentureBeat (No. 167), and Investor’s Business Daily (No. 181)

The business journalist as manager


Hank Gilman, the deputy managing editor of Fortune, has a book out called “You Can’t Fire Everyone, and Other Lessons from an Accidental Manager” where he discusses his management style in the various business news operations he’s worked out.

One of his interesting management philosophies is that if you believe a business journalist would be an asset to your staff, you wait for them to come to you.

Gilman writes, “This concept is evident in my relationship with Allan Sloan, who has worked for me twice now and threatened to work with me on other occasions. I first met Allan in the late eighties. He was working for Newsday, a Long Island newspaper, and self-syndicating his column and generally pissing off a whole lot of people like Donald Trump. The best thing about Allan, and there are many, is that he understands numbers as well as the CEOs and their financial teams. He knows what he’s talking about, and they know what he’s talking about. That’s a pretty serious skill for a business journalist.

“But enough of the digression. When I met Sloan, I was an assistant business editor at The Boston Globe and was among his early customers for his syndicated column. I had seen his work in Newsday, and I always thought his column was one of the best in journalism, period. But I had no illusions that he would come to work for the Globe. (Whenever I meet anyone of extraordinary talent, I try to figure out how to get them to work for me whether I have a chance or not.) But I knew we both had long careers in front of us and told him never to accept another job without talking to me first. And he did just that when a few years later I landed at Newsweek. He had decided to leave Newsday and I was competing with Money magazine for his services. But Allan remembered how comfortable he was working with me at the Globe (as a buyer of his column) and I think he appreciated that I was a true fan who valued his work. I also think he thought he made a promise to me.

“Strangely, about ten years after I left Newsweek, I helped hire Allan again at Fortune. My dream was to have Allan and Carol Loomis, another legendary superstar, in the same workplace at the same time. (That’s what amounts to entertainment for me.) I figured if I waited long enough, that would happen. And it did. But in a very strange way. Allan was still at Newsweek — he claims I abandoned him — and Andy Serwer, my current boss, was a writer at Fortune. They got into a feud, in print and online, over the Time Warner and AOL merger. (Allan said it was a terrible idea and Andy basically said the merger wasn’t a great idea, but it wasn’t the end of the world.) Then they attacked each other in various ways. Not fun for me, who liked them both a lot.

“The details aren’t important, but I had a little problem. I knew I wanted Allan to join Fortune at some point, and I also knew that it wouldn’t happen unless Andy was okay with it. Andy was a big talent at Fortune at the time, and any manager with half a brain would want to keep him happy.”

Gilman brings Sloan and Serwer together for a few lunches and the two discover that they had a lot in common.

The book is full of anecdotes involving Gilman and other high-level business journalists of the past 30 years. If that interests you, then I recommend buying the book.

The best, and worst, biz magazine covers for 2010


If you’re a business magazine, you might want to consider doing more personal finance covers, according to Audit Bureau of Circulation data.

The best-performing business magazine covers in 2010 were investment guides and reviews, while the worst covers dealt with professional sports and entertainers, according to a posting on min online.

For Bloomberg Businessweek, the best-selling cover was its Dec. 20 “Year in Review,” while the worst was its July 12 issue on BP’s oil spill.

At Forbes and Fortune, however, the best-selling covers were its 2011 investor’s guides. For Forbes, the worst-selling cover was its Sept. 13 issue, which featured its annual NFL team values. At Fortune, the worst-selling cover was its Oct. 18 issue of the 50 most powerful women, featuring Oprah on the cover.

For The Economist, its best-selling cover was the June 12 issue titled “What’s Wrong with America’s Right,” while its worst-selling cover of the year was its April 10 issue on Britain’s Parliament elections.

See all of the best and worst covers here. A subscription is required.

Loomis, Quick and Sorkin invited to interview Buffett at annual meeting



Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s annual shareholders letter, written by CEO Warren Buffett, was released on Saturday and it disclosed his favorite business journalists.

Carol Loomis of Fortune, Becky Quick of CNBC and Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times have been invited once again to attend the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting on April 30 to interview the legendary investor.

In the shareholders letter, Buffett writes, “The journalists and their e-mail addresses are: Carol Loomis, of Fortune, who may be emailed at cloomis@fortunemail.com; Becky Quick, of CNBC, at BerkshireQuestions@cnbc.com, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, of The New York Times, at arsorkin@nytimes.com.

“From the questions submitted, each journalist will choose the dozen or so he or she decides are the most interesting and important.

“The journalists have told me your question has the best chance of being selected if you keep it concise, avoid sending it in at the last moment, make it Berkshire-related and include no more than two questions in any email you send them. (In your email, let the journalist know if you would like your name mentioned if your question is selected.)

“Neither Charlie nor I will get so much as a clue about the questions to be asked. We know the journalists will pick some tough ones, and that’s the way we like it.”

Now I like all three of these business journalists and think they’re among the top dozen in the field, but I’m still bothered by their participation in the event because it gives the appearance that they’re favoring Berkshire Hathaway, a company that each of them covers.

If it wasn’t Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most respected CEOs and companies in the world, would media outlets allow their business journalists to participate in such an event?

UPDATE: One respected business journalist wrote to Talking Biz News and stated, “I wish other companies would open up their meetings to the press or participate in some sort of journalist panel. This process brings some real light to these meetings. Before journalists were allowed to ask questions at the Berkshire Hathaway meeting, it had devolved into a love-a-thon that provided very little insight.”

Fair enough. I just don’t like business journalists being involved in company-led meetings. That’s just my opinion.

Fortune reporter: CNBC’s Burnett being too critical of Apple


Fortune‘s Philip Elmer-Dewitt writes Sunday that CNBC anchor Erin Burnett is frequently critical of tech company Apple.

Elmer-Dewitt writes, “Her guest on Friday’s episode of Street Signs was Clem Chambers, the British novelist and former purveyor of massively multiplayer games (Dracula, Frankenstein and Jack The Ripper), whose thesis — ‘One hiccup and the stock is back down to $200 a share’ — was skewered Sunday by Bullish Cross‘ Andy Zaky.

“Zaky pointed out on Seeking Alpha what every serious investor knows: That compared with Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Google, Apple is still undervalued.

“But Burnett has learned that taking pot shots at the world’s most valuable technology company is a great way to draw attention to herself, and as long as that’s working for her — and her network — she’ll probably keep doing it.”

Read more here.

Why the "100 Best Places to Work" list at Fortune is tainted


Jonathan Berr and Douglas McIntyre write for 24/7WallSt.com that the “100 Best Places to Work” list published in Fortune is tainted because the company that compiles the list, the Great Place to Work Institute, has financial relationships with many of the companies on the list, among other reasons.

Berr writes, “24/7 Wall St. spent six weeks looking that Great Place and its practices both inside and outside the US. and found them to be lacking.

“Unlike polls such as those done by Gallup,  ‘Best Companies’ is not scientific, not by a long shot.  Companies interested in being on the list must apply to the Institute, which despite its academic-sounding name is a for-profit institution.  To be eligible, companies must meet a list of criteria including  having 1,000 or more U.S. employees and having been in operation for seven years.

“The 100 ‘Best’ are only the best of the 311 that applied, one large national polling firm  which does not compete with Great Place, told 24/7 Wall St.  In addition, Fortune tells the winners 24 hours before the list is published while the Institute informs the losers.

“‘… our methodology for selecting the best is rigorous and considers the results of an employee survey and an extensive questionnaire,’ the Institute says on its website.

“The surveys, though, are done at the office where employees may feel intimidated about sharing their true feelings, an independent polling firm not involved in employee evaluations told us.  Firms interested in finding out if their employees are happy can also chose to be bench-marked against other firms in their field for a fee of $3,000 or  $12,000 depending on the level of complexity involved.”

Read more here.