OLD Media Moves

BusinessWeek redesign: An awful job

October 20, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The Deal executive editor Yvette Kantrow writes in her latest “Media Maneuvers” column that the BusinessWeek redesign unveiled earlier this month is a poor effort exacerbated by the hyperbole of assistant managing editor Bruce Nussbaum.

Kantrow wrote, “And while we realize that in today’s cutthroat media market, everyone must indulge in a little gaseous hype, why don’t the hypesters understand that when they set the expectations so ridiculously high, the only place to go is down — and often with a sickening thud? When paging through the redesigned BusinessWeek, it’s hard not to judge it without hearing Nussbaum’s own words — it’s ‘a new kind of print medium that I think will be the model for magazines to copy in the years ahead’ — in your head. What can possibly live up to that?

“Not, unfortunately, the new BusinessWeek, with its trade-pub-like logo and inexplicably underlined headlines. Also annoying is the mag’s three-digit page numbers, so you’re not BusinessWeekjust on page 8, but page 008! How very Jetsons! Nussbaum is excited that the magazine is aggregating content from outside blogs and other pubs, which he calls new and ‘terribly exciting.’ But as one commentator to his post noted, it sounds like The Week, a magazine designed solely to aggregate copy from others. Bruce, do you get out much?

“In the end, Nussbaum certainly helped grab some attention — good, bad or indifferent — for the redesign, and maybe in these buzz-worshiping times, that’s all that matters. Interestingly, the new BusinessWeek hit newsstands just before Newsweek released its new design, with virtually no prelaunch pronouncements. ‘I just want people to judge it when they see it,’ The New York Post’s Keith Kelly quoted Newsweek editor Jon Meacham as saying. ‘I don’t believe in sweeping declarations.'”

Read more here.

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