OLD Media Moves

American magazine tries to hit business news sweet spot

October 21, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The American magazine, which launched one year ago, attempts to bridge the gap between traditional business magazines and “think” magazines, said publishing director Samuel Schulman on Sunday.

The AmericanForbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek have become magazines about ‘you,’ your career,” said Schulman at the fall Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference. “Conde Nast Portfolio is really about ‘them.’ It’s about celebrities. It’s about stars. It’s about rich people and their glamorous and sometimes nefarious lives.

“We’re about ‘it.’ We really try to dig into an issue and think it through and produce the results,” added Schulman.

The American is a non-profit magazine funded by the American Enterprise Institute and foundations. Although it has a free-trade, low-tax agenda, Schulman said the magazine is not averse to publishing articles that oppose that belief.

The Economist, which also espouses a free trade agenda, ‘feel it’s so important that it doesn’t have to be argued for. We present aruments. We try to walk our readers through the underpinnings of why free trade works.

“Those that disagree with them are beneath contempt,” added Schulman. “Those that disagree with us are not beneath contempt. They’re just wrong.”

The magazine has 60,000 subcribers, and the September/October issue had 30 pages of ads, up from 20 pages in July/August and 27 pages in May/June.

Schulman noted that all of the major business magazines — including The American — recently looked at the 20th anniversary of the 1987 stock market crash.

“They talk about the drama and the statistics and tell it well,” said Schulman. “We look at seven reasons why it happened” and try to assess which of those still exist.

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