OLD Media Moves

How to fix BusinessWeek

July 15, 2009

Alan Webber, one of the co-founders of Fast Company magazine, writes on Huffington Post about how he would fix BusinessWeek magazine, which is now for sale.

Webber writes, “A rejuvenated BW could be the American answer to The Economist. It wouldn’t report the news — instead, it would interpret it, coverage off the news rather than on it. BW could bring fresh energy, opinion, and perspective to all of the change in business that is so hard to make sense of. It could use interpretive graphics and recruit opinionated columnists — with renewed opportunity for bloggers who can compete for space on the web site.

“A renewed BW could cherry pick the best old school business journalists (who are all dying for a new venue) and add in the new generation of academics and trendspotters who are producing hit books blending sociology with new management practices. BW could feature conversations from around the world that migrate back and forth from the web. In other words, get out of the news business and go on offense! Stop playing defense — attack, attack, always attack!

“Most of all, BW needs to create a franchise. Because it’s not print that’s dead, or even print about business that’s dead. It’s old and tired franchises that are dead, franchises that have run out of gas and purpose and energy — franchises that deserve to die.”

Read more here. As a former BusinessWeek writer, I would say that the magazine’s mantra has always been to interpret the news.

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