OLD Media Moves

BusinessWeek planning redesign amid departure of art director

September 28, 2006

Women’s Wear Daily reporter Stephanie Smith noted in Thursday’s edition that BusinessWeek magazine is working on a redesign that has included bringing in people from other magazines to critique the glossy. However, the McGraw-Hill weekly has lost its art director this week.

BusinessWeekSmith wrote, “Top editors at BusinessWeek this summer invited Gary Belsky and Neil Fine, executive editors at ESPN the Magazine, and New York editor in chief Adam Moss in to critique the magazine as it geared up for a major redesign, according to insiders. The men provided a host of suggestions; for example, insiders said Moss preferred shorter stories (à la New York’s “Intelligencer” section), and preferred more conceptual covers, such as the ones The Economist often produces. The group surely knows what they’re talking about — New York this year won a National Magazine Award for Design, while ESPN won for General Excellence for magazines with circulations of 1 million to 2 million.

“A spokeswoman for BusinessWeek said, ‘We often meet with outside editors and opinion leaders to discuss new ideas for how we can best serve the needs of our readers.’ Does that mean creating an Approval Matrix for business leaders in BusinessWeek?

“The redesign is being planned so meticulously that insiders say the title postponed unveiling the new look from March to next fall so it can take a peek at Portfolio first. But while consulting with successful editors of weekly and biweekly titles may be helpful, editor in chief Stephen Adler first must find a new art director to execute the overhaul since Malcolm Frouman, who served 22 years in the position and oversaw the 2003 redesign, left the company this week.”

Read more here. Smith also noted that there is talk of an editorial layoff at BusinessWeek.

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