OLD Media Moves

Assessing the potential sale of BW

July 20, 2009

Nat Ives of Advertising Age writes Monday about the pros and cons of buying BusinessWeek, which was put up for sale last week by parent McGraw-Hill.

Ives writes, “Forbes and Fortune each rely on key franchises they can monetize a million different ways, such as the Forbes Global 200 list of the biggest companies and the Fortune 500.

“BusinessWeek has less to offer: its well-established business-school rankings and the less influential BusinessWeek 50, a list of the best-performing companies based on data from Standard & Poor’s, its sibling for now within McGraw-Hill.

“‘The lists are a gold mine,’ said Steve Forbes, chairman-CEO of Forbes Inc. as well as editor in chief at the magazine. ‘Thankfully we’ve had a tradition, whether it was our grading on mutual funds going back to the 1950s to the Forbes 400 in the 1980s to the listings we have today, whether it’s dead celebrities or the value of franchises or sports valuation.’

“Those franchises help the other brands, but they haven’t really been in BusinessWeek’s DNA. ‘Yeah, I wish the BusinessWeek 50 was more synonymous with great companies, but it’s just not what we do,’ the BusinessWeek executive said. As for lists with perhaps less relevance to running a business, such as Forbes’s ‘The World’s Top Earning Models,’ BusinessWeek has so far shrugged. ‘We kind of felt like the answer was to go deeper in business, not dilute our audience.'”

Read more here.

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