OLD Media Moves

BusinessWeek will survive, but won't regain old luster

January 8, 2010

Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman, a former BusinessWeek staffer, writes Friday that the weekly magazine now owned by Bloomberg will improve in 2010, but it won’t regain its former leading status among business news glossies.

Friedman writes, “It’s not so much that industry observers are dying to know what’s on the cover. No, they’ll be watching to see if its new owner — well-heeled Bloomberg — can resuscitate the newsweekly and do what McGraw-Hill gave up on trying to accomplish: Breathe life into the war horse, show that the newsweekly model isn’t dying and — gasp! — actually make a buck.

“If Bloomberg, with its can-do reputation, can’t turn around BusinessWeek, then what hope do its rivals have to survive?

“Time Warner’s Time and Washington Post’s Newsweek, two old-school newsweeklies, have been accused of losing their luster in recent years.

“Meanwhile, the business-magazine space is a shadow of its former self. Conde Nast’s ballyhooed Portfolio closed down last year, while Fortune and Forbes have suffered mightily. The business magazine seems to have the life expectancy of Jay Leno’s show.”

Read more here.

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