BusinessWeek.com chief: We need to think more about our audience

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26 Responses

  1. Linda Wood says:

    How you going to pay for all this expanded coverage online. Revenue from
    print, both ads and circ, are declining while your Web relies on the less expensive
    and thus less lucrative online ad revenue. So what if your exposure grows. Wouldn’t you rather have a couple thousand more paid subscribers than 10x that
    in unique visitors? Why are publishers so reluctant to charge for their journalism?

  2. Rachelle Pachtman says:

    Great column and thorough explanation of the current print/Online landscape. I have followed John through the years and have to say that beyond being brilliant, he is possibly the nicest, kindest, most honorable journalist I have ever dealt with. He hires great people and his mind is always open. Unfortunately, not always the case with other senior journalists who are either too busy or too lazy to focus on a new concept.

  3. johnborler says:

    I smell a rat every time when a reporter like you tries to sing the praises of Business Weak while razzing Fortune magazine. But sorry, baby, you are former reporter of Business Weak, and your unctuous comments on your top dogs of that diabolic mag will only draw the ire of other readers allergic to reading your fave Business Weak. What’s more, how can you write a balanced article here if you sound like a sycophant for Business Weak? Cut us some slack, or forget about my words if you deem yourself as someone akin to chopped liver.

  4. Fawn Annan says:

    This article provides more than food for fodder. It capsulizes the publisher’s day-to-day frenzy of staying relevant while adding tips for managing editorial change.

    Thanks,
    Fawn Annan
    VP & Publisher
    ITworldcanada.com

  5. heywood j says:

    johnborler: get a life. i havent worked for either, yet i aint whining like a baby like you. this is interesting Q+A. bottom line. Byrne is smart as hell and the Professor asked great questions. Plus, this blogmaster is as honest as can be. Furthermore, he’s entitled to his opinion.

    why don’t you go complain elsewhere

  6. johnborler says:

    Heywood, get real. Are you saying you are eligible to land a job in Fortune Magazine. Arahhhh! I have doubts on that, since your infantile and goofy words only reflect that you are another inept pachyderm I have met online. Indeed, John Byrne might be wowed by loads of journalists and his flair and gumption in turning out thought-provoking articles are best-regarded too. But does that mean this former reporter of Business Weak and another apple-polisher like you have good reason to bootlick Business Weak to the gills. Come to think of it, which mags have more A-list, high-octane and tenacious financial writers gun-ho about crafting meaningful business stories than cookie-cutter business news? Fortune? Forbes? Business Weak?. Answer: Fortune.

    Got that? Heywood. Other than that, I have the freedom to post words here, since it’s not off limits to anyone who doesn’t have a thing for Business Weak. Translation:please get off my back and stop sounding like a patronizing fruitcake.

    One more thing, you can work for that struggling Business Weak if you like. Well, I gather they will hire you after you heap praise on them online. Have a ball with them. Teehee.

  7. johnborler says:

    which mags have more A-list, high-octane and tenacious financial writers gun-ho about crafting meaningful business stories than cookie-cutter business news? Fortune? Forbes? Business Weak?. Answer: Fortune and Fast Company.

  8. heywood j says:

    Hey Borler: take it from me, Heywood Jablome, that you need to chill out. What an infantile response.

    Business Weak? oh, you are so clever. Go under your covers with your flashlight and read your Fortune Mag….

  9. johnborler says:

    Now I know the real reason why do you dig Business Weak. You are a copy-cat just like them. Whoa! That sucks! I would be weary of reading such asinine stuff written by A BUNCH OF CONDESCENDING WRITERS CLAIMING THEIR SHOPWORN MAG AS GLOSSY and well-received.

    To be fair, Business Weak has few perspicacious writers, like that dashing writer who used to work for Money magazine. But overall, Business Weak has morphed into a rudderless and pettifogging financial magazine enamored of churning out same puerile stuff weekly. That’s why I reckon that you can snare a job in Business Weak, since only kids will take a shine to COMICS-LIKE journalism. And it’s fair to say that Fortune magazine is still above doing such Gotham things.

    In a word, hard-headed business people read Fortune and Fast Company, but bleary-eyed kids like you mistake Business Weak for an insightful mag.

    Heywood, act your age and don’t pester moi anymore. You know, don’t take it personally like a cantankerous sore loser. Good Luck to Chris Roush and you too.

    FORTUNE is the best.

  10. johnborler says:

    Rock on! Fortune.

  11. johnborler says:

    I would be weary of reading such asinine stuff written by A BUNCH OF CONDESCENDING WRITERS CLAIMING THEIR SHOPWORN MAG AS GLOSSY and well-received if I were you.

  12. heywood j says:

    you mean wary. not weary. idiot.

  13. johnborler says:

    Look who’s talking. I prefer using weary cuz that’s a word befitting your chronic Business Weak, even though it’s errant. Take that! Dope.

    Fortune rocks and Business weak Sucks. Ka-ching! U just blistered me again. You are upright sore loser.

    Phew!

  14. RWDB says:

    The last time I looked, BusinessWeek.com boasted a news editor who formerly worked at STAR magazine, has her shelves covered with Barbie dolls, has decorated her office in leopard skin prints and was the chief water-fetcher and gossip retailer to Kathy Rebello, whom Byrne replaced after she managed to fill the site with click-fraud slide shows that artificially boosted traffic while alienating BW’s traditional audience of investment-savvy readers.

    Rebello also managed to drive off 90% of the staff she inherited from Bob Arnold, largely because they had been hired by him, not her. Complaints of abuse, overwork, and gratuitous slanders peddled by her “pod squad” of underlings landed on the HR department’s desk with such frequency during Rebello’s tenure that even someone so manifestly out of touch as Steve Adler eventually had to do something about it — the first step being to quit penning officewide herograms about the great job she was doing, the second to appoint Byrne.

    Mind you, Byrne’s appointment also made considerable financial sense: Given BW’s parlous financial state, McGraw-Hill could ill afford to keep sending multi-year severance checks to abused staffers who lawyered up on the way out.

    Sadly, BW.com can’t be taken too seriously while the Rebello influence lingers, and while Byrne is a lovely man, that “reader engagement” stuff is but a ploy to present chicken droppings as chicken salad.

    Yes, it’s nice that stories are getting lots of comments. But are the bulk twitterings of internetland’s keyboard ticklers really the metric for judging the success of magazine site — a magazine that was once, and not so long ago, a peer of The Economist, both in terms of analysis and influence?

    I can’t really believe that Byrne believes what he is saying, not in his heart of hearts. It’s his duty as a good company man to put the best spin of things, and that’s what he has done.

    When he cleans out the Rebello apparatchiks — one was a humble conference organizer before embarking on a new career as a mad woman’s sycophant — then you will know that BW.com means business.

    If you want to see a terrific financial site — serious, sober and focused on what investors want — look to Kiplinger.com, which has made great gains in traffic and credibility over the past two years.

    Guess what? Kiplinger.com has been rebuilt by Doug Harbrecht, one of the escapees of the Rebello era.

    Perhaps Byrne should see if Harbrecht would like to return?

    True, he can’t fold a decent napkin or hold forth on Elizabeth Taylor’s marriages. Nor would he be interested in recounting who is shagging who in the newsroom.

    But he is a journalist, and that would be a pleasant change.

  15. MonicaG says:

    Long-winded exchanges like the one above between J Heywood and John Borler are of little interest to those not involved in the dispute. They should be curtailed after a few messages by the Webmaster, IMHO. Take it outside, boys! (Or at least to private channels.)

  16. John Welsh says:

    Does John Byrne have a blog? I searched but could not find one. It would be great to hear from people like him, making the step from traditional to digital. There are so many of us.

  17. Neo Forex says:

    Business Week was an excellent magazine. Considering the growing popularity of internet, going online is probably the best thing for both readers as well as publisher.

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