Tag Archives: Fortune

Fortune cover

Time Inc. looking to sell magazines, but not Fortune

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James Bandler, Doris Burke and Jennifer Reingold of Fortune are reporting Wednesday that Time Inc. is looking to sell most of its magazines but would retain ownership of Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Time.

Their article makes no mention of what would happen to personal finance publication Money.

Bandler, Burke and Reingold write, “Bewkes gave a subtle hint that he might have changed his thinking about the magazine division in a Feb. 6 interview on CNBC, the same day Time Warner posted net income up 4.6%, to $3 billion. When asked if he might follow Rupert Murdoch’s lead at News Corp., he told CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, ‘It’s always a good question … There’s tremendous resilience in the national magazine publishing business, but advertising demand is secularly not so strong; it’s down a bit. The question whether we ought to put that into a different frame is one we’ve been asking.’ He then referred to Time Warner as ‘a great storytelling company, whether in film or TV.’ Magazines were not mentioned.

“The People magazine franchise is the top prize in the deal. It is said to be the most profitable magazine in the world. (Time Inc. does not break out financials by title.) It is not clear why Bewkes might want to keep Time magazine, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. Time magazine is less profitable than it once was. Fortune has a money-making online joint venture with Time Warner’s CNN unit. And Sports Illustrated has clear value for Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting System, although in the past the two have disagreed on digital strategy.

“Outside advisers involved in the potential deal include the Chicago merchant bank BDT Capital Partners, run by former Goldman Sachs banker Byron D. Trott. A spokesperson for BDT declined to comment.”

Read more here.

Pattie Sellers

Sellers named senior editor at large at Fortune

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

I want to tell you about some exciting personnel moves at Fortune.

First, Pattie Sellers has a new role and new titles. She will become Senior Editor at Large, and Executive Director of MPW/Live Content, Time Inc. She also will become executive director of the Most Powerful Women Summit. Pattie will continue working here at her home base, Fortune, but will also help create and develop new editorial ventures, specifically live events and conferences at other Time Inc titles and especially between Time Inc titles. In this capacity she will report in to Martha Nelson — while reporting to me at Fortune . This is a great opportunity for Pattie and for Fortune as well.

Leigh Gallagher, who of course has a number of roles as an AME, becomes a co-chair of MPW along with Stephanie Mehta and Nina Easton.

And Colleen Leahey — who will continue her work as a reporter at Fortune — will assume a new role as MPW digital and program manager, reporting to Lisa Clucas who becomes executive director of programming for MPW.

Congratulations to Pattie who has done such an incredible job of building up MPW, while continuing to write great stories for the magazine as well as pieces and major breaking news for the website on her blog Postcards. I am delighted that she is in a win/win situation where she can spread her wings on exciting new projects while staying in the Fortune fold. Kudos also to Leigh, Colleen and Lisa!

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Biz magazines underperform industry in fourth quarter

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The 14 business magazines performed worse than the overall magazine industry in the fourth quarter in terms of advertising revenue and advertising pages, according to a data analysis by Talking Biz News.

In the fourth quarter, the industry saw a 1.3 percent advertising revenue decline and a 7.3 percent drop in advertising pages, according to data released Thursday by Publishers Information Bureau.

However, the business glossies reported a drop of 6.6 percent in advertising revenue to $421 million and an ad page drop of 13.4 percent to 3532.15 pages during the last three months of the year. The comparison is slightly affected by Smart Money, which had its print edition closed by News Corp. at the end of the third quarter of 2012.

The only business magazine to see an increase in ad pages and ad revenue during the fourth quarter was Enterpreneur. It reported a 1.4 percent rise in ad revenue to $20.0 million and a 1.6 percent increase in ad pages to 232.52.

Barron’s also reported a rise in both ad pages and ad revenue, but many do not consider it to be a magazine. Its ad revenue rose 5.2 percent in the quarter to $17.8 million, and its page pages rose 1.4 percent to 102.81.

The worst performing magazine was Inc., which saw its advertising revenue drop 23.3 percent to $12.2 million and its ad pages drop 25.7 percent to 147.98 in the quarter.

Right behind it was Harvard Business Review, which saw its ad revenue fall 22.8 percent to $5.4 million and its ad pages fall 25.8 percent to 119.63.

Among the big three business glossies — Forbes, Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek — Fortune performed the best during the quarter.

Its ad revenue fell 1.5 percent to $62.4 million, and its ad pages fell 7.8 percent to 438.73.

In comparison, Forbes reported a 5.4 percent drop in ad revenue to $95.8 million, and a 9.7 percent drop in ad pages to 642.9, while Bloomberg Businessweek reported a 4.1 percent decline in ad revenue to $72.6 million and a 7.7 percent drop in ad pages to 489.35.

 

Stephanie Mehta

Fortune names Mehta as deputy managing editor

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Stephanie Mehta has been named deputy managing editor of Fortune magazine.

She replaces Hank Gilman, who left the magazine last month.

In an email, Time Inc. editor in chief Martha Nelson writes:

 

 

On the recommendation of FORTUNE Managing Editor Andy Serwer, I am pleased to announce the promotion of Stephanie Mehta to Deputy Managing Editor of FORTUNE.  Stephanie has long had one of the biggest purviews at FORTUNE.  She serves as the brand’s International Editor, oversees its technology coverage and its Washington coverage, and acts as co-chair of the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit and the FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech Conference.

On top of that (if you can imagine), Stephanie helps steer the overall editorial direction of the magazine with great news sense and sophistication, and is a much sought-after mentor to writers and reporters from the most senior to the most junior. “Stephanie is everyone’s favorite colleague,” says Andy Serwer. “It’s remarkable that someone who does so much is so gracious and generous too.”

Stephanie joined FORTUNE from The Wall Street Journal, where she was an assistant news editor, reporting and editing technology stories. She wrote extensively about telecommunications at the Journal, focusing on wireless and local phone companies, (hence the ‘Stephanie Telephony’ moniker.) She joined the Journal in 1994 as a staff reporter for the paper’s Enterprise group and was promoted to deputy bureau chief of that group in 1996. Prior to joining the Journal, she worked as a business reporter for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA, which according to the paper’s website “is the Number 1 source of news, information, entertainment and advertising in Southeast Virginia and northeastern North Carolina…and has been named “best paper in the state of Virginia” for 26 of the past 32 years.” (I’m sure the other six years were all after she left.)

Stephanie is also a Wildcat through and through, having received a B.A. in English and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.

Please join Andy and me in congratulating Stephanie and wishing her the best in this important new role.

John Huey

Former Fortune mag leader Huey reminisces

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Cyndi Stivers of Columbia Journalism Review interviewed outgoing Time Inc. leader John Huey, who once ran Fortune magazine, about his career.

Here is an excerpt:

What was the stickiest wicket you encountered while leading Time Inc.? Journalistically, leading Time Inc. didn’t prove to be as sticky as some of the things I encountered while editing Fortune, mostly because the editors I worked with were just so damned good at what they did. At Fortune, I had the challenge of covering stories like the AOL Time Warner merger, from which we did not shrink in the least. But I always knew I had the backing of (then-editor in chief) Norman Pearlstine and (then-CEO) Don Logan. As editor in chief, my toughest challenge has been trying to lead through some very difficult business conditions without sacrificing the quality, integrity, and distinctiveness of our journalism. I give myself a good grade for that, but then I would, wouldn’t I?

What was the most indelible magazine cover on your watch? Honestly, I think those covers belong to the editors of the individual magazines. At Fortune, I had so much fun making covers that it’s hard to remember. But probably winning a bet with Steve Jobs that our photographer, Michael O’Neill, could take a better portrait of him than his own photographer was as satisfying as any.

Read more here.

Hank Gilman

Fortune’s deputy ME leaving magazine

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Hank Gilman, deputy managing editor at Fortune who works with managing editor Andy Serwer to oversee all edit content at the magazine, is leaving the publication at the end of the month after 16 years.

“It has been 16 great years,” said Gilman in a message to Talking Biz News. “Not quite sure what I’m going to do, but probably speaking, project work, ghosting, teaching…and so on. We’ll see what happens.”

Gilman received the Loeb Awards lifetime achievement award last year, and he has also been named an outstanding alumnus from his alma mater, the University of South Carolina.

Before assuming this position, Gilman was managing editor of FSB: Fortune Small Business. He also edited the Small Business edition of Fortune, a special edit section launched in 1997 to target managers and directors of small businesses.

In an email to the staff, Gilman wrote, “Keep up the great work at the world’s greatest business magazine — and please keep in touch.”

Before joining Fortune, Gilman was business editor at Newsweek, where his staff won two Gerald Loeb awards. He also conceived and launched Computer & The Family (now entitled E-Life), Newsweek’s annual technology magazine.

Prior to that, Gilman worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and as assistant business editor at The Boston Globe, where he oversaw the Sunday business section. He was also the Globe’s personal finance columnist for two years.

Gilman has a B.A. from South Carolina and a master’s degree from Indiana University.

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John Huey’s legacy at Fortune

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David Carr of The New York Times writes about departing Time Inc. boss John Huey, who got his start at the company running Fortune magazine.

Carr writes, “‘There have been bullets flying since I got here, way back when I first came as a writer at Fortune,’ he said, referring to his first job at the company, in 1988. ‘I came to work when it was just Time Inc., then it became part of Time Warner, and then it was Time Warner with Turner, and then it became AOL Time Warner and then just Time Warner again. I always figured my time might be up. Came close, but it never happened.’

“As the editor of Fortune, Mr. Huey was a consummate magazine maker, turning out a product that was modern, knowing and highly decorated. A former naval intelligence officer, he displayed a remarkable understanding of how power operates in corporate America, which served him well as he navigated his way to the top of Time Inc.

“‘Media can be a very dangerous and political business — I am not an innocent in such matters, by the way — but I always had enough information to stay away from the more obvious hazards,’ he said. ‘And we did O.K. We avoided major conflagrations, there were no $1 billion lawsuits, and no compromise in the journalism we were doing at our magazines.’

“He had excellent relationships with Richard Parsons and Jeffrey Bewkes, the former and current chief executives of Time Warner, which came in handy, given that the leadership at Time Inc. became somewhat chaotic after the departure of Don Logan, the former chief executive and a mentor of Mr. Huey.”

Read more here. The article discloses that the CNNMoney.com website makes more money than either Fortune or Money.

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John Huey’s role in business journalism history

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John Huey, the head of Time Inc. who is expected to step down at the end of the year, played a great role in business journalism during his career.

Keach Hagey of The Wall Street Journal writes, “Mr. Huey, 64, began his career as a reporter, joining the Wall Street Journal in 1975. There he worked under Norman Pearlstine, who he would later inherit the editor-in-chief title from at Time Inc. Mr. Huey rose at the Journal to become the editor of Wall Street Journal Europe, and then joined Time Inc.’s Fortune magazine in 1988.

“In 1995, after Mr. Pearlstine had moved to the top Time Inc. editorial job, Mr. Huey was named managing editor of Fortune. It was there that he became famous as a turnaround artist, taking a magazine that Mr. Pearlstine once described as ‘in competition with the Harvard Business Review to see which one could be duller’ and turning it into an editorial and financial success.

“‘I think John is, of his generation, maybe best in class, particularly when it came to turning around a magazine like Fortune, which was a huge behemoth with a great brand name, but was struggling,’ said Andy Lack, the CEO of Bloomberg’s multimedia group and a longtime friend of Mr. Huey’s. ‘John Huey made Fortune about as good a business magazine as ever was.’”

“He rose to become editorial director of the company in 2001.”

Read more here.

Betsy Morris

Betsy Morris rejoins WSJ in Atlanta

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Alex Martin, the national editor of The Wall Street Journal, sent out the following staff hire announcement on Thursday:

 

 

 

The Atlanta bureau now has not one Betsy, but two.

Betsy Morris has re-joined The Wall Street Journal as Atlanta deputy bureau chief, effective immediately. An award-winning business reporter and editor, Betsy is known for her deeply reported profiles of CEOs and corporate narratives, and prescient analyses of the country’s most important business trends. She spent 14 years at The Wall Street Journal as a reporter in Philadelphia and Chicago and as Atlanta bureau chief, and 13 years as a senior writer and editor for Fortune. Her two dozen cover stories include an interview with Steve Jobs from his Hawaii vacation, a portrayal of “The Dyslexic CEO,” and a rich narrative of the drama behind the search for a Coca-Cola CEO.

In addition to her deputy duties, Betsy will cover an important beat for the Atlanta bureau and the WSJ: the freight transportation industry, a bellwether of economic trends in the U.S. and globally. She’ll train her eye on FedEx, UPS, the railroads, and trucking companies.

Please join us in welcoming Betsy back to the Journal.

Jack Welch

Jack Welch and the business media

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Tom O’Boyle of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who wrote a book about former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, writes about Welch’s relationship with the business press.

O’Boyle writes, “Although Jack Welch was the epitome of the modern celebrity CEO, his greatest genius wasn’t in reading a balance sheet or executing a business strategy, but rather in his preternatural understanding of raw power. He knew how to ingratiate as well as intimidate the media — to squelch, kill or chill unflattering portrayals of him. That meant rewarding allies and punishing potential adversaries.

“During the six years I researched and wrote a book about Mr. Welch back in the 1990s, his high-powered legal team threatened to sue me and my publisher (Alfred Knopf) no less than a dozen times, though they never did. My offense: having the audacity to question the well-spun Welch myth, which publications like Fortune, Business Week and even my own Wall Street Journal were all too willing to convey.

“At the same time, Mr. Welch courted allies with great zeal, among them Fortune. Little wonder then that when the magazine gave out its millennial awards back in 2000, none other than Jack Welch was declared ‘Manager of the Century.’ No, not men like Henry Ford or either of the Watsons of IBM fame, who would have been obvious and logical choices.

Read more here.