OLD Media Moves

Fast Company getting some help

May 19, 2006

MarketWatch media columnist Jon Friedman, continuing his weekly look at the business magazine industry, says that Fast Company magazine has overcome the loss of its top editor, John Byrne, who many feel left it abruptly last year to return to BusinessWeek.

New editor Mark Vamos, who incidently worked with Byrne at BusinessWeek, has kept things going under a new owner who promises to keep the magazine going.

Friedman writes, “Vamos was especially satisfied with a project in which many of his editors went off and interviewed what he called with a smile ‘futuristic, off-the-wall people. We asked them about the macrotrends affecting American business over the next 10 years.’

“When I asked him why someone would want to read his magazine instead of the usual suspects, Fortune, Forbes or Mark VamosBusinessWeek, he had a quick answer. He said Fast Company could do a better job than its counterparts at writing about creativity. ‘BusinessWeek has people on the ground to do a story about the chip fad in India,’ he said not unkindly. ‘But there’s something else going on — the global business of creativity, in China, India, Russia and Brazil.’

“Perhaps the story that truly differentiated Fast Company from its rivals was its cover piece on Al-Jazeera, the Arab-language television news network, last month. ‘Al-Jazeera is radioactive!’ Vamos said, getting more animated than at any other time during our hour-long breakfast interview a few weeks back.”

Read more here.

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