Fortune’s glory has faded
Former financial journalist Eric Starkman writes for O’Dwyer’s PR about the faded glory of Fortune magazine, which was sold this week to Meredith Corp.
Starkman writes, “I couldn’t muster any reason to renew Fortune magazine for $60 when my subscription recently expired. The last Fortune article that wowed me was a two-part series on the Sony hack by Peter Elkind, published more than two years ago. Elkind has long since bailed from the business magazine. Erin Griffith was the only reporter whose work I routinely read, not because she exuded any particular brilliance but refreshingly was one of the few technology writers who didn’t drink the communal Silicon Valley Soylent. I took it as a sign that Griffith’s farewell column appeared in my last subscription issue.
“Until the mid-1990s, Fortune was an oversized magazine full of economic and finance articles that appealed primarily to academics and policy wonks. Dated issues curiously adorned the waiting room tables of doctors and dentists. In 1995, former Wall Street Journal reporter John Huey was named managing editor, and he quickly transformed the magazine into a venue for great storytelling and feature writing. For a brief time, Fortune became the Camelot of business journalism.
“The magazine attracted many of the nation’s best financial reporters, including Elkind, Carol Loomis, Bethany McLean, Allan Sloan, James Bandler, Roger Parloff, and deft editors such as Hank Gilman and Joe Nocera. In 2012, I published a blog post highlighting some of Fortune’s impressive work the previous 12 months, entitled ‘Some Content Worth Paying For.’ All the reporters whose work I featured are no longer with the magazine.”
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