OLD Media Moves

The secrets of The Economist

February 26, 2006

The Independent, a London-based newspaper, has a nice article today on what makes The Economist magazine so successful and required reading.

The Economist

The Independent writes: “How did The Economist take wing? Not thanks to its journalists alone: one secret has been its management’s readiness to pour money into promotion in hard times as in good. In Britain sales have been pushed by white-on-red billboard ads of sophisticated word-play, aimed both to tickle up-market readers and reassure news-agents.

“Yet no poor product can be sold, week after week, for long. The Economist’s journalists are its biggest asset. They are often misrepresented. [Current editor Bill] Emmott’s recruitment – and others recommended by the same Magdalen don – might suggest they are just a bunch of righties wet behind the ears from Oxbridge.”

Later, the article notes: “The other side of The Economist’s success has been changing times. It was well placed, and eager, to change with them. Norman Macrae, a past economics editor and in the 1960s to 1980s the spiritual father of today’s Economist, was a Thatcherite before she was. He believed anything could be privatised. Many of us thought him bonkers. We were wrong.”

Read the entire piece here.

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