Saturday, April 24, 2010

Businessweek's Masthead -- At Last!


Most of the staff couldn't make it to the shelter

In previous posts I've commented on how BusinessWeek (n/k/a Bloomberg Businessweek) hasn't published a masthead as long as anyone can remember, which has made it hard to track the extent that the magazine has been decimated by layoffs.

Well, the newly redesigned magazine has a masthead, for the first time since before the takeover I believe, and "decimated" seems to be an understatement. As a matter of fact, the image that I have in mind is a nuclear explosion, in which only editors above the rank of senior editor were able to make it into the shelter. Most of the rest seem to have been vaporized.

The masthead was thoughtfully scanned here, and it's a shocker. The once-mighty staff, 250 domestic and overseas personnel as of 2004, has been reduced to 69. I'm not counting Matt Winkler, who is off the masthead but listed as editor in chief, though I am counting the 12 members of the Fortune-like "board of editors."

Here's a somewhat clearer version of the masthead:



Here's the bottom portion of the masthead, showing BW Online:



Every single department editor and domestic correspondent is gone, either fired or absorbed into the Bloomberg wire, and there are now three New York-based writers. There are now just four overseas correspondents. Of the three New York writers, one is Peter Coy, who covers economics, but there is no longer a Chief Economist or an economics editor. Another is Roben Farzad, who is all that is left of my old department that covered Wall Street and finance.

But then again, the magazine will be drawing from the staff of Bloomberg, and includes vast hordes of experienced people, including Pulitzer-winning investigative journalists. It will be interesting to see if this total slash-and-burn of the BW corporate culture results in a magazine that lives up to the hype.

© 2010 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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