OLD Media Moves

Why BusinessWeek should celebrate its 80th birthday

September 23, 2009

Former BusinessWeek staffer Gary Weiss writes about why the weekly magazine should celebrate its 80th birthday.

Weiss writes, “It’s not too late, and I hope BW comes out with an 80th Anniversary issue. It has a tradition to be proud of, even if the magazine under its recent management has clearly lost touch with its readers, perhaps, as Bruce Nussbaum suggests, through misinterpretation of reader surveys. (Note the interesting dissent in the comments section of the item just linked.)

“There’s a practical reason for BW to do a bit of chest-beating. The magazine is for sale, and buyers need to be reminded that they’re not buying just any old print-web combo, but an American institution that once was a significant player in the national dialogue. It can be revived, in theory.

“As a practical matter, however, BW’s prospects are grim. It needs to find a sugar daddy ‘vanity buyer’ –that’s not happening — or a wealthy buyer who will twist the magazine/website to its will. That seems to be the most likely possibility, with Bloomberg bidding for Businesseek, and, as previously reported, Joe Mansueto apparently dropping out.

“That means it now seems likely that the nation’s biggest business magazine will be owned by Mike Bloomberg’s ever-growing information empire. Now, that’s not perdition. Bloomberg Markets magazine is a solid if stodgy property, and I’ve heard good things about its editor. One glimmer of hope, for sentimentalists, is that the point person for Bloomberg is Norm Pearlstine, veteran of the Wall Street Journal and Time, Inc.”

Read more here.

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