OLD Media Moves

Economist's Bill Emmott on BBC World Service

March 15, 2006

Bill Emmott, the editor of The Economist who announced earlier this year that he was stepping down from the post, was interviewed by BBC World Service.

Bill EmmottA blogger in Singapore who caught the interview posted this comments about Emmott’s performance as editor of the magazine: “Globalisation and the spread of the English language helped his magazine grow, he said. Businessmen and executives everywhere now have to keep up with world markets and foreign affairs, and The Economist provides both business and political analysis. As a weekly, it is cheaper and more concise than a daily like The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times and almost as authoritative.

“But The Economist also goofs. It predicted oil prices could go down to $10 a barrel, Emmott recalled when asked what was his biggest mistake. It was also wrong when it urged Clinton to step down during the Monica Lewinsky affair and out of sync with the majority of American voters when it — unexpectedly, I thought — failed to endorse Bush against Kerry in the 2004 election.

“It may have been out of step with American voters but has been a hit with American readers. Unusally, for a British publication, America is its biggest market. It sells more than 500,000 copies in the USA alone and just about 150,000 in Britain.

“And the fact that it sells more than 300,000 copies in the rest of the world shows its huge international reach. Along with the BBC and The Guardian and the British Council, The Economist gives Britain an international audience that Tony Blair and his government would have never been able to reach on their own.”

Read the entire post here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.