Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'Strategic Options' Explored for BusinessWeek Means. . .

Since all the world now knows that McGraw-Hill is shopping BusinessWeek, I'm perplexed by the corporate-speak of an email delivered to the staff yesterday, after the news broke on Bloomberg, by BW publisher Keith Fox. '

It said as follows:

We all know that the media industry is facing unprecedented challenges. The growth of digital innovation has created new entrants, new challenges and entirely new business models for media companies. The move of readers and advertisers online, coupled with the impact of the recession on print advertising, has created additional urgency on the need for change. Given the current market environment, the Corporation has decided to explore strategic options for BusinessWeek.
Up until the last sentence, that statement could have been made about any magazine in the U.S. Since there was no obligation to issue a statement at all, I don't understand why such opaque, ice-cold language was used, particularly in a note to a terrified staff.

It appears that M-H is likely to get little or nothing for the magazine, because of the mounting losses. So essentially it will get bubkis in return for giving away its flagship publication to a new owner who will do what M-H should have done years ago, which was to sweep out the top editors.

Personally I'd like to see BW go to Joe Mansueto, who worked wonders with Fast Company is one of the rare journalism moguls who cares about magazines.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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