Laying an egg

segueLaying an egg: Sorry, but first an old joke: How do you make a small fortune in magazine publishing? Answer: Start with a large fortune. The NY Times is reporting the Forbes family is selling the last pieces of its “legendary collection (of) nine Imperial Fabregé Easter eggs from Czarist Russia acquired over a lifetime by Malcolm Forbes” who died in 1990.

According to Reuters, a statement issued by the family explained, “The family has now decided it is time to make this unique treasure trove available to other collectors so they may have the thrill of owning a rare and exquisite work of Faberge…. Also, the sale will allow each of us to pursue our own individual interests, something our family has always valued.”

Malcolm Forbes lived large, for sure. And I’m sure he’d love seeing his Faberge eggs sold for close to $100 million so the kids can pursue their individual interests. Funding a presidential election or two, for example. Or, my personal favorite Forbes pursuit of recent memory, the CueCat.

Okay. I know the question you all have. Does the sale of this priceless collection (at last, we get to see how much “priceless” actually is) have anything to do with the advertising page free fall Forbes Magazine has experienced over the last three years? Of course not, Christopher Forbes tells the NY Times.


Also during the last three years Forbes Magazine, the family’s chief holding, has experienced a 50 percent drop in advertising pages. But Christopher Forbes said yesterday that the drop in company revenue was not the reason that he and his brothers and sister had decided to sell the last of the collection, including the Imperial eggs.

“We’re trying to make sure that the real jewel — Forbes and Forbes .com — stays within the family,” Mr. Forbes said. He added: “None of us are getting any younger. It was a great passion of Pop’s, and we have had a great time owning these objects.”

Wait, the official statement says the money is going to be used for individual pursuits…nothing about trying to hang onto the real family jewels. If they keep this up, they’re going to create one real small fortune.

Segue responds

segueSegue responds: Kimberly Toms, who has announced plans to launch Segue Magazine in April, was “a little affronted” when she first saw that I called Segue a vaporzine. Then she read my definition of vaporzine and now says, “I am okay with being one of your vaporzines. It will certainly make us proud and victorious five years from now, when we are reflecting and realize, ‘Looks like we made it!'”

I’d like to thank Kimberly for jumping through the hoops of actually registering on the rexblog and commenting. You can read her entire response here. (Wish I could make it easier to make comments but I’ve never been able to figure out how.)

For clarification purposes, Kimberly, you don’t have to wait five years from now to declare “Looks like we made it” and celebrate Segue not being a vaporzine. Vaporzines merely are concepts not yet launched. So, for my purposes, you can say, “Looks like we made it” when the first issue comes off the press.

However, if you do indeed, say, “Looks like we made it,” please don’t do it this way.


palmOurBusiness: I guess it is with some irony that this weblog is considered by some to be an example of a “business weblog” as I rarely blog about Hammock Publishing, the actual business I am so lucky to be a part of. Obviously, I post a lot of news about the industry we’re in, but I don’t even blog about the topics our magazines cover. However, today, I want to get a little more “personal” with this business blog. I want to thank the folks pictured at the left (except for the guy on the far, far left, who is me) for making it easy for me to claim I know something about publishing an award-winning magazine. They all make it possible, I get to take the credit. Back in October, MyBusiness Magazine, the magazine published by Hammock Publishing for the 600,000 members of the National Federation of Independent Business, NFIB, received the 2003 first place “Eddie Award” for editorial excellence in the category of association magazines. Today, the folks at NFIB were kind enough to invite the MyBusiness team from Hammock for a celebratory lunch. As a friend of mine once said, every issue of any magazine that makes it off the press is a miracle. The real miracle for me is to get to work with a group of people like these both at Hammock and at NFIB (and some others who left early or who were actually working.) Thanks.