Conde Nast Portfolio, days away from launching, to be vastly different
Washington Post reporter Paul Farhi, writing for the American Journalism Review about the new business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio, notes that editor Joanne Lipman is trying to make it different than any other business magazine.
Farhi wrote, “Lipman says there’s ‘a big white space’ in the business field for a magazine that is in-depth, investigative and lavishly illustrated. It’s a niche, she says, that isn’t filled by the category’s Big Three-×?’Fortune, Forbes and BusinessWeek-×?’or by smaller competitors such as Smart Money, Business 2.0, The Economist or Inc. ‘We’ll be different than any of the other magazines out there,’ she promises. ‘There’s no reason to go in and say, ‘We’re going to be just like magazine X but better.’ That’s not a reason to do a magazine. The reason is, the approach we’re taking, the way that we look at a business story and the way we define what a business story is.
“‘We’re not here to try and kill someone else,’ she adds. ‘We’re here because we’re true believers that there is a new way to look at business coverage and there’s room in the marketplace to do that.'”
Later, Farhi noted, “The larger questions, however, are why this magazine, and why now? Portfolio’s launch comes during a period of real heartburn for the major business titles. Fortune-×?’whose editorial approach is probably closest to Portfolio’s-×?’saw its ad revenue shrink 4 percent last year, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, and parent Time Warner has instituted a series of morale-sapping layoffs throughout its magazine division (see “Finding A Niche”). The trend since the bursting of the dotcom bubble and the September 11 terrorist attacks is even more chastening. Between 2002 and 2006, BusinessWeek lost 18 percent of its ad pages. Advertising at Fortune and Forbes is off 14 percent and 3 percent respectively during this same period.”
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