OLD Media Moves

Portfolio preview doesn't shed much

March 23, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The special preview of Conde Nast Portfolio for charter subscribers arrived my mailbox today, and the cover promises a “behind-the-scenes look at the development of the magazine and web site.”

Having read the preview, I still am not sure I know anything more than what I already knew about the magazine. It includes the basic propaganda that you’d expect from a magazine trying to drum up subscriptions.

Conde Nast PortfolioThere’s a Q&A with editor Joanne Lipman that is two questions long and has her pitch on how she recruited the business journalists now working at the magazine.

Lipman said, “As it turns out, my vision for the magazine synched with that of so many of the people I talked to. For a reporter, the opportunity to have the time and resources to dig deep on a story, and to be provided with the editorial real estate to deliver the complete take on the subject was a compelling proposition.

“I also discovered that there were a lot of like-minded business journalists out there. We all saw a business angle in everything — from commerce to culture. We all had leads we wanted to pursue. This was the opportunity to give important stories the resources, time, and investigative talent that they merited.”

And there’s also a longer Q&A — four questions — with Washington bureau chief Matt Cooper that includes just one meaingful quote about what he wants to write: “What I want to write are profiles of the people who stand at the intersection of money and power, and give behind-the-scenes accounts of how Washington really works.”

Other than that, I didn’t learn a whole lot. There a page devoted to the magazine’s photography, and a page devoted to is graphics, and a short explanation of what the magazine’s web site will do: “Portfolio.com will be a smart take on the day’s headlines with vibrant images and insightful analysis.” Duh, what business news web site doesn’t want to do that?

The most interesting thing in the preview? A survey of the first 5,000 subscribers reveals that 21 percent are in the New York City area, while 12 percent are in Los Angeles and 8 percent are in San Francisco.

Can’t wait to see the real thing next month.

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