My final Condé Nast business magazine punditry: In adding updates to my earlier post on the topic pointing to new coverage of the announcement, it appears the focus has been on the “tough time in the business advertising category” angle and that “Condé Nast is known for upscale fashion magazines” angle.
Both of those completely miss the point. So, let’s back away from Manhattan and see what we have.
Business advertising is exploding — maybe not in the tight community of the national business magazines noted, but Google demonstates daily that businesses will buy advertising if you prove its direct value — and, if you can figure out a way to generate revenue from smaller advertisers who could not previoiusly afford it. Alot of Google’s success is coming from local business advertising. The early coverage of the Condé Nast announcement fails to note that the company is owned by a very large media company that owns a vast network of local business weekly newspapers and a wide swath of daily newspapers with local business news sections. That same media company owns businesses that are savvy business-to-business players, as well. That same media company owns a rather potent online brand called “wired news” as well. That same media company owns other businesses that are savvy in business-related events and custom publishing. On-and-on. I’m sure there are silos there, but this is a group of people who know how to make money. The know “business.” (I’ll skip the obvious knowledge they have of creating magazines that really matter to people.)
Also, no where in the announcement did I see anything about Condé Nast starting a business news magazine — yet that’s where the “not the right time” remarks are directed. (Typical of the coverage, in an article suggesting the magazine is going to be like Fortune, the WSJ includes this quote from the editor recruited to develop the book, “This is exciting because it’s an opportunity to create something totally new, without any preconceived notions about what a business magazine should or shouldn’t be.”) They could be starting a “Lucky” for business for all we know — and, frankly, they should. (Come to think of it, that would NOT be without precedent in the Condé Nast family). What about an Architectural Digest for business. A business Vogue? Take off your blinders, pundits.
That’s all the punditry I’ll be providing on this topic. I am officially retiring from the Condé Nast beat.