OLD Media Moves

And now, a critique of the Portfolio content

April 17, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Elizabeth Spiers, the founder of the Dealbreaker.com blog about Wall Street and everything associated with it, has a negative reaction to the editorial content in the first issue of new business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio.

PortfolioSpiers, who interviewed for a job at the magazine in 2005, wrote, “We’ll admit that Portfolio’s editorial content is slightly different from what we thought it would be. There’s less product pushing than we imagined, which is a good thing, and more of Wall Street in the mag, which is also a good thing, but we’re biased on that end. Unfortunately, everyone tasked with writing about Wall Street (or any of its inhabitants) seems to be struggling to understand it themselves and struggling even more to explain it to their audience, which according to their advertising materials, theoretically consists of senior business executives who shouldn’t have to be told what a derivative is. As for general business coverage, it’s all over the place. We’d normally be enthusiastic about personality-driven profiles, of which there are many, but it’s hard to get excited about the fact that a hedge fund manager loves his wife or sits on the board of several charities. Neither are exactly unusual occurrences.”

Later, she added, “We’re disappointed. We think there’s a market for a high-end business magazine, particularly one with good long-form narrative journalism. If the first issue is any indication, we don’t think Portfolio is it. But we’re fairly certain it’s got plenty of time to improve, and we hope it does.

“Now that we’ve thoroughly bashed it, we’ll tell you what worked and we’d do to improve it, because we hate people who complain about problems and never offer any solutions. Those people are Whiners. And you know what happens to Whiners. (Equities in Dallas. Also: slow, painful death. Also: we continue to gratuitously mention the fact that they blew up a $6.6 billion hedge fund.) Next week: DealBreaker’s Portfolio makeover!”

Read more here.

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