Tag Archives: The Economist
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.
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.”
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Micklethwait being the even-money favorite for the position, according to a British betting house.
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 donâ€™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 Â£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 havenâ€™t seen anything quite that unsubtle. Theyâ€™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.
“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 magâ€™s UK editor Emma Duncan.
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 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.
Elliott writes, “The Economist, the venerable weekly published by the British company Pearson, is using Baltimore â€” chosen because it is a typical American market for the magazine â€” 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.
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.
A 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.
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.
Frank 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.
A Boston Globe editorial praises some old-line magazines, including The Economist and the Atlantic.
In 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.
Bill 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 worldâ€”whether it’s in print or onlineâ€”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).”
The Independent, a London-based newspaper, has a nice article today on what makes The Economist magazine so successful and required reading.
The Independent writes: “How did The Economist take wing? Not thanks to its journalists alone: one secret has been its management’s readiness to pour money into promotion in hard times as in good. In Britain sales have been pushed by white-on-red billboard ads of sophisticated word-play, aimed both to tickle up-market readers and reassure news-agents.
“Yet no poor product can be sold, week after week, for long. The Economist’s journalists are its biggest asset. They are often misrepresented. [Current editor Bill] Emmott’s recruitment – and others recommended by the same Magdalen don – might suggest they are just a bunch of righties wet behind the ears from Oxbridge.”
Later, the article notes: “The other side of The Economist’s success has been changing times. It was well placed, and eager, to change with them. Norman Macrae, a past economics editor and in the 1960s to 1980s the spiritual father of today’s Economist, was a Thatcherite before she was. He believed anything could be privatised. Many of us thought him bonkers. We were wrong.”
Read the entire piece here.
The Economist, the London-based business magazine, will have a new editor soon. Editor Bill Emmott has announced that he is stepping down.
Here is coverage from Brand Republic: “LONDON – Bill Emmott, editor-in-chief for The Economist, is to step down from the role after 13 years to focus on writing books.
Emmott has been with The Economist for 26 years, working his way up from Brussels correspondent in 1980, becoming financial editor in 1986 then business affairs editor in 1989. He took on his current job in March 1993.
He will stay on at the magazine until a new editor is found, but this could be as soon as March 21, according to reports. The appointment will be approved by four trustees of the Economist Group board. Contenders are likely to include: Emma Duncan, who is deputy editor; John Micklethwait, US editor; and Matthew Bishop, American business editor.
Read full coverage here.
As David Warsh, editor of economicprincipals.com, so eloquently puts it, “It may not be a golden age of economic journalism. The traditional means of support — advertising — has been too undependable for that, thanks to a cataract of technological change. But there are plenty of new rafts on the river. There’s even reason to hope that, before long, the worst of the turbulence will be past.”
Who are these new rafts in the river? Warsh names four reporters who currently cover the economy as being particularly strong. They are:
1. James Surowiecki of The New Yorker. Surowiecki, according to Warsh, can “blend background knowledge and skepticism in just the right degree.” I am a big Surowiecki fan, and require his anthology on business crime reporting to be read by my Business and the Media seminar course. Surowiecki, in the interest of fair disclosure, is a UNC grad, where I teach.
2. Steven J. Dubner is a former writer for the New York Times Magazine, but he is better known as the co-author of Freakonomics with noted University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt. Dubner is more a big-picture writer about economics.
3. Daniel Altman of the Times has also worked at The Economist. His focus has been on writing about the neoeconomy, and he is at the forefront of that movement. Said Warsh: “What exactly is a “neoconomy?” Apparently one in which government policy can affect the growth rate. (Like China, perhaps?)”
4. The last one is Jon E. Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal. According to Warsh, “nearly four years, Hilsenrath, 38, has put a steady stream of stories about technical economics and economists in the paper, large and small, short and long, growing steadily more acute — a powerful demonstration of the utility of covering the beat.”
Warsh’s evaluation of current economics reporters also says that the WSJ’s Greg Ip — what a great byline — has become the journalist whose coverage of the Federal Reserve is watched the closest, replacing John Berry, formerly of the Washington Post and now at Bloomberg.
Warsh’s review of the current situation on economics reporting is perhaps the most detailed I have seen on the subject in the past 50 years — and I just finished doing some research into the subject and how it has been portrayed. Warsh is right. We have gone through a time period in journalism where economics reporting has been on the downswing in terms of importance. But maybe we’re on the upswing now. Warsh’s entire article can be read here.