OLD Media Moves

Portfolio spent money fast

April 29, 2009

Belinda Luscombe of Time magazine writes about the cash-spending ways of now-closed Conde Nast Portfolio magazine.

Luscombe writes, “But many of the killer bylines only popped up occasionally. ‘They were willing to throw tons of money at writers, but they couldn’t figure out how to use them,’ says one former staffer. ‘They all got about two stories in the magazine. They killed one of David Margolick’s.’

“The photography budget was also deep. In true Conde Nast fashion, the photographers were always top notch, and well paid. Photo spreads for small stories in the front of book could easily run to $50,000 each. For one story, the magazine flew a photographer to eight different locations around the country. Lavish amounts were spent on cover stories that became inside stories.

“Money was thrown at market research too, especially in the long months before the launch. (Lipman was hired in the summer of 2005 for a magazine which didn’t come out until May 2007.) ‘When I asked to attend a focus group, they suggested not New York — in the same building — but Chicago,’ says another former staffer. ‘Joanne stayed at the Four Seasons. And two people from the art department turned their San Francisco focus-group trip into a multi-day mini-vacation at company expense.'”

Read more here.

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