Tag Archives: The Economist

Economist NY bureau chief to leave

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FishBowlNY is reporting that Anthony Gottlieb, executive editor and New York bureau chief of the Economist and 22-year vet of the publication, is leaving the magazine.

Gottlieb alerted colleagues and friends via e-mail yesterday.

Gottlieb joined the paper in 1984. Since then he has been Britain correspondent, science correspondent, science and technology editor, surveys editor and editor of Economist TV.

No shakeup at the Economist

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John Micklethwaite, the new editor of The Economist, promises no major shakeup at the British-based magazine under his tenure. He had an exclusive interview/profile with the Sunday Telegraph, which described him as a person who bicycles to work and arrives in the newsroom with his pants legs tucked into his socks.

The article, by George Trefgarne, had these points to make:

1. “He is also what you might loosely describe as a conservative. As his books reveal, his own opinions are classically Economist, reflecting the magazine’s origins as a champion of free trade aligned with the Anti-Corn Law League during the heyday of 19th century liberalism. He joined the Economist in 1987 after a brief spell with Chase Manhattan bank.”

2. “The selection process was gruelling. First he had to be interviewed by three directors, led by chairman Sir Bob Wilson (also chairman of BG Group), then by the entire board and finally by the independent trustees, chaired by Sir Campbell Fraser, who own special shares that give them the right to approve the editor.”

3. “Mickelthwaite believes the magazine benefits from its obscure ownership structure. It is still in effect controlled by ancient City families and it is now half-owned by Pearson via the Financial Times, with the balance held by the Rothschilds, the Cadburys and the Schroders and also the staff. Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Sir Evelyn’s second wife, is on the board.”

Read the article here.

Media Life: Micklethwait's U.S. work to come in handy at Economist

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Media Life, in reporting on the appointment yesterday afternoon of John Micklethwait to become the new editor of British-based The Economist, notes that the new editor’s experience here in the States will be essential to the future success of the publication.

The EconomistHeidi Dawley writes, “The U.S. has been the Economist’s growth market for some years now, with recent strong circulation gains, and under Micklethwait it will continue to build its U.S. presence, adding new bureaus as it strives to further expand its subscriber base.

“The U.S. now accounts for almost half the magazine’s total circulation, at 515,480 of just under 1.1 million total, and well more than the 160,000 it sells in its home market. Though so unlike U.S. weekly newsmagazines, the Economist has crafted a mystique in the U.S. as a must-read for its global view, especially among business executives, and that led to a doubling of U.S. subscribers in the last decade.

“The Economist has been more successful in that regard than the other leading UK import, the Financial Times, whose U.S. circulation is around 125,000, or less than a third of its total circulation.

“To its credit, the Economist has also proved an able contender for advertising against both the U.S. newsweeklies and business titles, such as Forbes and Business Week, even with its much smaller circulation.”

Read the entire story here.

John Yunker, writing on Corante, hopes that the magazine doesn’t become too American under Micklethwait. He writes, “I just hope that this added US coverage doesn’t come at the expense of non-US coverage. After all, that’s why I read the magazine and why I suspect many of the other 569,000 American subscribers do. The US is now the magazine’s largest subscriber market, which I believe is due to the fact that US papers have closed their foreign bureaus over the years (a myopic error of epic proportions in this age of globalization).

“There is no shortage of coverage of the US, but if I want to know what’s going on in Tanzania, I first turn to The Economist. So here’s hoping that every new bureau the magazine opens in the US is matched by a bureau abroad.”

Micklethwait named new editor of The Economist

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John Micklethwait has been named the new editor of 163-year-old magazine The Economist, replacing Bill Emmott. He starts in the new position immediately.

John Micklethwait Micklethwait, 43, was appointed the U.S. editor of The Economist in 1999. Before that, he ran the newspaper’s New York bureau for two years, having edited the Business Section of the newspaper for the previous four years. His other roles have included setting up The Economist’s office in Los Angeles, where he worked from 1990 – 1993 and being Media Correspondent.

He has covered business and politics from the United States, Latin America, Continental Europe, Southern Africa and most of Asia. He is a frequent broadcaster and has appeared on CNN, ABC News, BBC, Start the Week and NPR. He is the co-author of “The Witch Doctors”, “A Future Perfect: the Challenge and Hidden Promise of Globalisation” and “The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea” and “The Right Nation”, a study of conservatism in America, with Adrian Wooldridge, also an Economist journalist.

Katharine Seelye of the New York Times writes, “‘Covering America well is an absolute priority for the magazine, not just on the political side but on the business side,’ Mr. Micklethwait said in a brief telephone interview from London after his selection.

“The Economist has bureaus in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco and has just hired what he called a ‘super stringer’ in Austin, Tex. Mr. Micklethwait said he was also contemplating opening more bureaus across the country.”

Read an AP story announcing his appointment here. The press release can be found here.

Earlier this week, I posted an item about Micklethwait being the even-money favorite for the position, according to a British betting house.

Betting on the next editor of The Economist

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Apparently a booking agent in London had been taking bets on who would be the next editor of The Economist magazine, but the bookie shut down the business after receiving a large number of bets on a certain internal candidate.

The London Times reports, “SOMEONE at The Economist knows something we don’t. Paddy Power, the bookmaker, has been offering odds on the new editor, to replace the departing Bill Emmott. Several punters this week started to put large sums ranging up to £500 on Ed Carr, the business and financial editor, at 6-1.

“The bookie yesterday suspended all bets, after even more tried to open accounts. Any of them e-mails with “theeconomist” somewhere in the address? ‘We haven’t seen anything quite that unsubtle. They’re more intelligent at The Economist. Mind you, when we ran a book on the editor of The [Daily] Mirror . . .’”

Earlier, the Press-Gazette in London had reported, “Journalists with the inside track on who is to succeed Bill Emmott as editor of The Economist could cash-in at the bookies.

John Mickelthwait“Paddy Power has offered odds on what it sees as the ten front-runners. It has Economist US editor John Micklethwait as even-money favourite followed by the million-selling mag’s UK editor Emma Duncan.

Emma Duncan“The runners are: even-money Micklethwait, 6/4 Emma Duncan, 6/1 Matthew Bishop, 7/1 Ed Carr, 8/1 Gideon Rachman, 10/1 Christopher Lockwood, 16/1 Clive Crook, 100/1 Boris Johnson.”

Betting on whether a business journalist will get a job. Now, that’s a new concept. I wonder if we can convince a Vegas casino to start accepting bets on who will replace Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger?

I also think it’s be very cool if the general public could place bets on other business journalism concepts, like how soon will it be before new Fed chief Ben Bernanke appears on the cover of BusinessWeek, Fortune or Forbes? I am setting the over/under on that one at four months.

The Economist: Boffo in Baltimore?

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The New York Times’ Stuart Elliott reports that The Economist is conducting some test marketing in the Baltimore market see if it can increase newstand sales in the United States. The issue is that many Americans have a low awareness of the magazine and think of it as a journal about economics.

The Economist

Elliott writes, “The Economist, the venerable weekly published by the British company Pearson, is using Baltimore — chosen because it is a typical American market for the magazine — to test a new effort to increase newsstand and subscription sales, along with brand awareness. The test involves employees of the magazine and four agencies on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The test, costing an estimated $500,000, is unleashing a panoply of advertising and promotional efforts on metropolitan Baltimore. Among them are posters, print advertisements, banner ads on Web sites, radio commercials, direct mail, local events, signs at newsstands and a public relations campaign.

“The Economist is even giving away outdoor cafe umbrellas, in its trademark shade of red, that declare, ‘Talk about more than just the weather.’

“The test began Feb. 22 and is scheduled to run six weeks. It is a sign of the growing role that marketing now plays as media companies seek to stimulate revenue. As the Internet makes it more difficult for print media to attract advertising dollars, revenue from readers is becoming more important.”

Read the article here.

Economist's Bill Emmott on BBC World Service

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Bill Emmott, the editor of The Economist who announced earlier this year that he was stepping down from the post, was interviewed by BBC World Service.

Bill EmmottA blogger in Singapore who caught the interview posted this comments about Emmott’s performance as editor of the magazine: “Globalisation and the spread of the English language helped his magazine grow, he said. Businessmen and executives everywhere now have to keep up with world markets and foreign affairs, and The Economist provides both business and political analysis. As a weekly, it is cheaper and more concise than a daily like The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times and almost as authoritative.

“But The Economist also goofs. It predicted oil prices could go down to $10 a barrel, Emmott recalled when asked what was his biggest mistake. It was also wrong when it urged Clinton to step down during the Monica Lewinsky affair and out of sync with the majority of American voters when it — unexpectedly, I thought — failed to endorse Bush against Kerry in the 2004 election.

“It may have been out of step with American voters but has been a hit with American readers. Unusally, for a British publication, America is its biggest market. It sells more than 500,000 copies in the USA alone and just about 150,000 in Britain.

“And the fact that it sells more than 300,000 copies in the rest of the world shows its huge international reach. Along with the BBC and The Guardian and the British Council, The Economist gives Britain an international audience that Tony Blair and his government would have never been able to reach on their own.”

Read the entire post here.

The Economist is doing well in the States

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National Public Radio did a piece today on The Economist, the British-based magazine that examines business, politics and society. The item noted that while other magazines have been stagnant in terms of subscriptions, The Economist has seen an increase.

The EconomistFrank Langfitt notes, “The magazine would seem to have several strikes against it. First, there’s the sleep-inducing title. Then, there’s the sometimes esoteric content. In recent issues, topics have ranged from the credit card market in Mumbai to political assassination in Kazakhstan.

“But when it comes to readership, The Economist is doing great — up 13 percent from last year. That’s on a par with some of the nation’s hottest magazines: celebrity-fueled glossies such as US Weekly and Star.”

Later, Langfitt points out, “The Economist has enviable demographics. In the United States, nearly two out of every three readers earn more than $100,000 a year. The magazine is unabashedly elitist, especially in its marketing.

“‘A lot of our readers are in very senior positions,’ said Paul Rossi, The Economist’s publisher for North America. ‘We are one of the most thumbed magazines on Air Force One. We’ve reached CEOs and politicians and financiers around the world. And that is, in some sense, an aspiration that we promote in our advertising. So, one of our tag lines is: It’s lonely at the top, but at least there’s something to read.’”

Read the piece here.

Praise for The Economist

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A Boston Globe editorial praises some old-line magazines, including The Economist and the Atlantic.

The EconomistIn regards to the British business-related magazine, the editorial stated, “With a wry, sometimes snide eye on the entire world, The Economist can seem like a bastion of the aging elite. But its appeal is evident in its circulation of more than 1 million readers, over half a million of whom live in the United States. The average reader age is 38. Last month, editor-in-chief Bill Emmott stepped down after 13 years in the job and 26 at the magazine. The next editor has yet to be chosen. But last week on WBUR’s ‘On Point,’ Emmott said he expects his successor to be ‘an internal appointment,’ someone who will keep the magazine on course.

“Although some bloggers see the demise of the ‘legacy media,’ the dinosaur family of print journalism and network news, these three magazines are lively, triumphant old-timers. The Economist was founded in 1843, the Atlantic in 1857, and the New Republic in 1914.”

Read the editorial here.

Outgoing Economist editor speaks his mind

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Bill EmmottBill Emmott, right, who announced earlier this month that he was stepping down as editor of The Economist magazine, spoke with Newsweek magazine about a range of topics in this week’s issue.

The Q&A format included this interesting item:

The Economist’s circulation has increased by more than 40 percent in North America over the last five years. How did you manage that with all the competition from Web news outlets?

Globalization has helped us a lot. Globalization expressed as fear and greed: fear of terrorism and greed in terms of new opportunities. I think this has increased the market for the kind of international, political and economic analysis that we offer. And we were starting at a low base [of circulation]. We’re now at more than 550,000 in the U.S., but we are still a niche magazine relative to the mass market. The other thing is that if you can find a crisp, accessible way to provide analysis of the world—whether it’s in print or online—then people are going to want you in such an information-overload world.

Read the entire interview here.

In an interview with the Observer, a British newspaper, Emmott described the magazine’s success in this way: “‘We try to give you two or three things in every issue that you hadn’t thought of,’ says Emmott. The aim is to produce a weekly agenda that marks readers’ cards, that gives information, attitude, policies and a coherent world view. The aim to tell you what you think you ought to know – but didn’t, and couldn’t find anyone else to break the news (while Time was trying to take on television for mass market glory).”