OLD Media Moves

Assessing Forbes' future

June 14, 2009

David Carr writes for Monday’s New York Times about the struggles that Forbes magazine faces in the current economic recession.

Carr writes, “In a conference room in their Manhattan headquarters, Tim and Steve Forbes conceded that the last year had been a difficult one for a magazine marketed as the ‘Capitalist Tool.’ But, sitting side by side in room dappled with all the iconography of wealth — pictures of a yacht, several estates and the men who acquired them — they also said that, while the economy may cycle, what it means to be a Forbes does not.

“’On many occasions, we’ve been materially out of sync with the prevailing wisdom of the moment and where the world was,’ said Tim Forbes, the president and chief operating officer of the company, which is privately held. ‘The tide seemed to be going the other way, but we don’t change our fundamental view.’

“But the downturn — both in the economy and in the Forbes philosophy — is felt particularly sharply here. Often thought of as a wealthy family that happens to own a magazine, the family is actually wealthy precisely because it owns a magazine, and the business decline of the magazine comes right out of the family’s pockets. And there is another generation that expects to inherit more than a once-gilded family name.

“So while the Forbeses’ view on making money may not have changed, their view on spending has.”

Read more here.

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