OLD Media Moves

Portfolio never distinguished itself from the biz mag competition

April 27, 2009

Yvette Kantrow, executive editor of The Deal, writes Monday that the demise of business magazine Conde Nast Portfolio is primarily due to the fact that it never distinguished itself in a crowded market.

Kantrow writes, “Portfolio was strictly a bubble phenomenon, dreamed up at a time when the masses still liked to talk about money and how people acquire it. More problematically, it never delivered on its lofty goal of creating something significantly different than any other business pub out there, even as editor Joanne Lipman gobbled up talent that the rest of media immediately labeled ‘stars.’

“Though Portfolio vowed to produce serious, yet-accessible long-form business journalism, it seemed to traffic more in luxury and CEO porn — a point driven home last fall when, as Wall Street crumbled, the mag featured overexposed American Apparel Inc. CEO Dov Charney on its cover. That issue is destined to become the symbol of all that was wrong with Portfolio.

“Interestingly, news of Portfolio’s demise came on the same day that the Financial Times reported on plans by Bloomberg to expand both its technology and news operations, even as its financial industry customers contract. When it comes to providing business news, Bloomberg is mostly the opposite of what Portfolio set out to be.”

Read more here.

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