Time bosses gave the publication a two month-long reprieve during which it weighed offers from Fast Company publisher Mansueto Ventures, and others, to buy the brand and its 623,000-name circulation list. But apparently Time Inc., a unit of Time Warner, did not want to arm another competitor. “
Time Inc. purchased Business 2.0 for $68 million, in July, 2001. It was incredibly over-priced, but a year before, Gruhner+Jahr purchased Fast Company for $360 million (a large percentage of which was later written-off). However, by July 2001, the reality of the dot.com bust had sunk-in for most folks, but not, apparently, Time Inc. Time’s “eCompany Now” (blast-from-the-past, huh? — how sad is this: eCompany Now doesn’t even have an entry on Wikipedia) then was merged with Business 2.0, as Business 2.0 had a more-established brand and circulation (and Wikipedia entry). The problem was and is, they never saw the advertisers return — and two-months after the purchase was 9/11/2001. It was not a smart purchase, however, the folks at Time were making all sorts of not-smart decisions at the time, so this was the least of their bungles.
While I have a long-standing practice of not blogging about the demise of specific magazine titles, I also have a long-standing practice of breaking that long-standing practice when I can point back to four-year-old posts like this in which I wrote:
“MediaPost is reporting that Business 2.0 has a book deal with Penguin based on its annual “dumbest moments in business” feature. I assume there will be plenty of space devoted to the magazine’s parent’s company. And, oh, what about a chapter devoted to Time purchasing Business 2.0?”
I’m sorry to see the talented folks who work at Business 2.0 lose their jobs, but the niche Business 2.0 was serving was never really a niche.
Sidenote: I just “unjoined” the Facebook Group of Business 2.0 readers who didn’t want it to go away. As the magazine had a circulation of 600k+ readers and only 2.3k joined the group (which took all the commitment of a click), perhaps it would have been better for the group not to form and show how little support the magazine had among the important Facebookista audience.
Update: The Times followed up the blog post with an article that says ten members of the magazines editorial staff will be reassigned to help bolster the tech coverage of Fortune. That’s great news for some very talented individuals.