OLD Media Moves

Jack and Suzy Welch start a BusinessWeek column

January 20, 2006

Former General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy, former editor of the Harvard Business Review, have begun writing a column in BusinessWeek dispensing managing advice.

One of the questions being tackled in the first column, in the Jan. 30 edition on newsstands today, came from a recently promoted senior executive, Welch said yesterday in an interview with the New York Post.

In essence, Welch said the neophyte executive asks “What do I do now?”

“Everybody’s got their first-time management challenge,” Welch, 70, said from his office in Boston.

I guess Welch has forgiven the business media for all of the negative coverage after he retired from GE and his retirement package was disclosed. But maybe not, considering the recent letter to the editor he wrote to Barron’s in response to an article that criticized GE’s accounting under his tenure.

Former BusinessWeek writer Gary Weiss had this to say about the move on his blog: “Look, it’s easy for an outsider to be critical when a magazine does something dramatic to attract readers or advertisers. The ad sales environment is tough. But what I wonder is this: Does Business Week really need celebrity columns, by the likes of Jack & Suzy Welch and Maria Bartiromo, to keep the ad revenues flowing? Is that what readers and advertisers want from the magazine?”

New BW editor Stephen Adler, who has been at the magazine for less than a year, is obviously shaking things up at the No. 1 biz magazine in terms of circulation.

The press release announcing Welch’s new column can be found here.

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