The Fall Of Print: BusinessWeek Sells For Under $5m - Worth $1bn In 2000
Bloomberg senior executives met with Businessweek staff Wednesday morning and assured them that they intend to be patient and invest in the title for the long term.
Spencer Ante, Computers Department Editor, was on a Bulldog Reporter panel with me Wednesday morning, and he said Bloomberg sees a lot of potential in combining online sites, and said they hope to keep most of the jobs. Together, Bloomberg and BusinessWeek will have a combined monthly readership of more than 20 million unique visitors, "this will make it the largest business site after the large portals," said Mr Ante.
No changes are expected until early next year.
Ryan Chittum, a former Wall Street Journal reporter now writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote that McGraw-Hill sold BusinessWeek for between $2 million and $5 million. Yet in 2000, BusinessWeek was valued at $1 billion.
So there's your new emblem for the Fall of Print. That decline in value happened for the most part not because it's readers abandoned it--circulation (rate base) dropped about 20 percent during that time--but because its advertisers did.
McGraw-Hill invested about $20 million over the past two years. BusinessWeek losses in 2009 are expected to be more than $40 million on revenues of about $130 million. Ten years ago it had an operating profit of $100 million.
Foremski's Take: Working at Bloomberg will be different than working for BusinessWeek -- the reporters will have to work harder and faster. Taking a week to work on one story is something that won't happen under the new management. I would expect a gradual staff exodus if there was somewhere else for the journalists to go.
Staff cuts are inevitable. Bloomberg currently has about 2,200 journalists worldwide.