The fact that Conde Nast wants to enter into the business magazine business, which was discussed in a New York Times article this morning, is not surprising when you look at the people behind Conde Nast.
This point wasn’t mentioned this morning in the NYT article: Conde Nast is owned by Advance Publications, which is the Newhouse family business. And a decade ago, Advance acquired American City Business Journals, the parent company of 41 weekly business newspapers across the country. From what I understand, ACBJ is an extremely profitable company and has been a great success for Advance.
Earlier this year, ACBJ tried to buy Fast Company and Inc., two struggling business magazines, which shows me that Advance wants to get into the business magazine portion of the industry. And the company was able to take its Street & Smith’s sports magazine brand and successfully extend it into the realm of business journalism with a weekly sports business publication that I understand has become profitable.
While the new publication successfully compete against Fortune, Forbes and BusinessWeek? That remains to be seen, and the quality of the content will bring in the ads. But the Big Three have shown that they can run a competitor into the ground, as they did with Financial World in the 1990s and other magazines such as The Industry Standard in recent years.
But don’t discount Conde Nast because you think it doesn’t have business journalism savvy. Its parent has tons.