Nat Ives of Advertising Age got a peek at the first issue of Conde Nast Portfolio last week and writes about what he saw.
Ives said, “A photo essay, ‘Weapons of Mass Production,’ examines the goods that mean big money in wars, from guns and Oakleys to bomb-sniffing robots. A section called “The Gold Standard” wants to roll product porn into short news items about product sectors. One, on watches, is titled ‘Big Swinging Ticks.’
“Not everything feels quite so new, however. The Ford article examines a topic that Fortune, among others, has checked out repeatedly. A Q-and-A with Mel Karmazin reveals he doesn’t always say the nicest things about Sumner Redstone — not exactly the stuff of breaking news. The Gallery shows TV’s upfront buyers, including Procter & Gamble’s Jim Stengel (who some in the marketing business will note isn’t really an upfront buyer); minus the original photography, BusinessWeek hit that topic with headshots and blurbs in its April 2 issue.
“And a piece on BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s investment in Octone Records expands on a story first reported by the New York Post in 2004.
“Then there’s ‘Valerie, Scooter and Me,’ by Matthew Cooper. It’s far from clear how much appetite remains for the Plame affair.
“But more than enough of Portfolio appears fresher than the usual diet. The ‘scariest man in media,’ Bruce Sherman, who forced the Knight Ridder breakup and is not an easy get, was persuaded to cooperate for the article. Book reviews skip management and leadership stuff in favor of fiction, art books and whatever else might appeal to readers. We look forward to reading ‘The Kid Pays for the Picture,’ about Ryan Kavanaugh, the 32-year-old middleman bringing private-equity and hedge-fund money to Hollywood.”
Read more here.