OLD Media Moves

Media Life: Micklethwait's U.S. work to come in handy at Economist

March 24, 2006

Media Life, in reporting on the appointment yesterday afternoon of John Micklethwait to become the new editor of British-based The Economist, notes that the new editor’s experience here in the States will be essential to the future success of the publication.

The EconomistHeidi Dawley writes, “The U.S. has been the Economist’s growth market for some years now, with recent strong circulation gains, and under Micklethwait it will continue to build its U.S. presence, adding new bureaus as it strives to further expand its subscriber base.

“The U.S. now accounts for almost half the magazine’s total circulation, at 515,480 of just under 1.1 million total, and well more than the 160,000 it sells in its home market. Though so unlike U.S. weekly newsmagazines, the Economist has crafted a mystique in the U.S. as a must-read for its global view, especially among business executives, and that led to a doubling of U.S. subscribers in the last decade.

“The Economist has been more successful in that regard than the other leading UK import, the Financial Times, whose U.S. circulation is around 125,000, or less than a third of its total circulation.

“To its credit, the Economist has also proved an able contender for advertising against both the U.S. newsweeklies and business titles, such as Forbes and Business Week, even with its much smaller circulation.”

Read the entire story here.

John Yunker, writing on Corante, hopes that the magazine doesn’t become too American under Micklethwait. He writes, “I just hope that this added US coverage doesn’t come at the expense of non-US coverage. After all, that’s why I read the magazine and why I suspect many of the other 569,000 American subscribers do. The US is now the magazine’s largest subscriber market, which I believe is due to the fact that US papers have closed their foreign bureaus over the years (a myopic error of epic proportions in this age of globalization).

“There is no shortage of coverage of the US, but if I want to know what’s going on in Tanzania, I first turn to The Economist. So here’s hoping that every new bureau the magazine opens in the US is matched by a bureau abroad.”

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