OLD Media Moves

Adler shakes up BusinessWeek

May 26, 2006

Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman continues his analysis of the business magazines with a column Friday on the changes that new editor Stephen Adler has made at BusinessWeek since he took over in 2005. It should be noted that Friedman once worked at BusinessWeek, as did I.

Adler has had to overcome the perception that he would be just like the previous editor, Steve Shepard, who is now the dean of the journalism graduate school at CUNY and edited BW for 20 years.

Friedman writes, “I get the feeling that Adler would like nothing more than to obliterate the memory of his predecessor — and he and his team are well on their way.

“It’s not merely because BusinessWeek, at its least inventive, displayed all the individuality of a McDonald’s hamburger before Adler arrived. More to the point, he is his own man.

BusinessWeek“Since he took charge in April 2005, Adler has shaken up BusinessWeek’s editorial management, invigorated the covers with genuine stabs at creativity, signed up celebrity contributors — and, in what would be a coup, is trying to recruit Newsweek’s Allan Sloan, America’s premier magazine business columnist.

“The surest sign that Adler is making progress? Some Shepard-era holdovers mutter that he’s making too many changes.

“It didn’t take long for the staffers of BusinessWeek (circulation 988,000) to notice that Adler had an independent streak.

“Before he joined BusinessWeek, he was a deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal (which, like MarketWatch, is a division of Dow Jones). Some staffers were impressed that he didn’t bring in tow a slew of Journal colleagues. (Of course, cynics could suggest that they simply didn’t want to follow him to BusinessWeek.)”

Read more here.

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