OLD Media Moves

BusinessWeek: What went wrong

September 17, 2009

Bruce Nussbaum of BusinessWeek writes Thursday about what happened at  the business weekly that caused parent McGraw-Hill to want to sell.

Nussbaum writes, “It’s a very complex question. Let me give you my best shot, devoid of emotion. I think the answer to what went wrong was culture. I think despite many, many, many efforts to change, somehow BusinessWeek lost contact with its readers.

“I think what happened were surveys. There were enormous amounts of efforts to be in contact with our readers. But in the end, I think they were misleading. The message from the surveys were to be general, to be horizontal…

“My sense of our readership after many years was that our readership was a coalition, people who were really interested in technology, really interested in management, people who were really interested in innovation and really intrested in finance, and somewhat interested in other areas. It was a different modeal. In some ways, the magazine, in striving to do this or that, to do many things, was mislead by the surveys…

“The other thing that I think happened in terms of culture was way beyond BusinessWeek’s control…There was a stampede to be hip, to be cool, to be online. That hurt and continues to hurt media. There’s nothing you can about that.”

Listen here.

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