Last of a Breed
I don't usually wax rhapsodic over publishers, but I'm always glad whenever I hear that Joe Mansueto is involved in a media deal.
Joe founded the mutual fund rating firm Morningstar Inc. back in the early 1980s. He has since expanded that worthy enterprise, acquired Fast Money and Inc., and is said to be in the bidding for Business 2.0.
I've never met Joe, but I used to deal with him quite a bit when I was at Business Week, which very adroitly used Morningstar in preference to Lipper Analytics from the gitgo. Joe always impressed everyone at Business Week with his analytical skills and adroit business sense, so I was delighted when he decided to enter the media business.
He strikes me as just the kind of savvy businessman you want running a magazine. No (known) ideological agenda, no wack-a-doo ideas -- he's not going to trade in advance of publication and then call it a "business model, " for instance.
His involvement in Fast Company, as I understand it, essentially rescued that publication from extinction.
I'm tempted to call Joe Mansueto the "last of a breed" of hands-off, benevolent publishers. I hope he isn't.
© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.
Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site, gary-weiss.com.