Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman likened the new business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio to the New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez in his Monday column. Because of all the money spent on it and the gaudy performance it’s likely to have, there will always be plenty of detractors.
Friedman wrote, “Conde Nast’s willingness to invest substantially in Portfolio has been an underlying issue. Money is a big issue. You might say that Portfolio looms as a tale as potentially neurotic as, say, Alex Rodriguez’s tenure with the New York Yankees. Rodriguez, in his fourth year in pinstripes, has posted statistics worthy of a future baseball hall of famer.
“But the public’s unreasonable expectations have made the player feel more like a failure than a success. A-Rod must suspect that he could swat 90 home runs in a season and critics still would carp that he fell short. Is it fair or logical? Nope. Is it inevitable? Of course.
“Likewise, in the year ahead, Portfolio could sell a million ad pages and win 75 journalism prizes — and these accomplishments wouldn’t encourage the skeptics to declare the venture an unqualified success.
“Just as the public resents Rodriguez because he is baseball’s highest-paid player, much of the publishing industry happily twists a knife in Conde Nast’s back because it is lavishing so much money on Portfolio (an estimated $100 million, covering the next few years).”
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