Fortune goes global; BusinessWeek goes local
Fortune is opening an edition in India, while BusinessWeek has scrapped its international edition and is adding a monthly edition for the Chicago market.
Weiss, who used to work at BusinessWeek, wrote, “It’s interesting to contrast the two strategies. BW’s is vaguely reminiscent of how newspapers moved toward suburban and regional editions in the 1960s and 1970s. But there is a difference. Big-city newspapers had an obligation to follow their subscribers as they moved out to the exurbs. BW’s has no such demographic imperative. On the contrary, this strikes me more as an admission of defeat in the battle for ad dollars, a kind of conscious narrowing of its mission.
“It also is questionable as a circulation-building strategy. Will this really induce Chicagoans to buy Business Week? The local market already has the Chicago Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business. BW simply doesn’t need to cover Chicago in the same way that, for instance, the Hartford Courant needed to cover the town of Vernon when it established a bureau there four decades ago.
“I’m reminded of what an old colleague, one of the best financial journalists in the business, told me when he left BW, without another job, back in 2004. The financial magazine business is undergoing a secular change, he said, and it is going to get uglier.”
Read more here.