BW Comes Off the Block

Far, far away from the world of the e-book is the world of magazines, and this week, the big magazine news is that business Week, after being on the block for some months was finally sold to Bloomberg for an alleged $2 – $5 million, plus its debt, which could be as high as $32 million.  This is a poignant moment for the magazine, which was started almost exactly 80 years ago, right before the depression started.  And I know this because I used to work there, in the library, with every edition of BW going back to October of 1929. So it’s kind of a poignant moment for me, too. In any case, Bloomberg as a new parent makes good sense, giving Bloomberg access to a wider audience than just the entranced financial community.  According to BW itself:  [it] will give Bloomberg entrée to a much larger business audience of corporate executives and senior government officials, beyond what has been its sweet spot of catering to Wall Street and the professional investor community. And by broadening that reach, it will allow Bloomberg to deliver a new breadth of information that will help make its main business — data terminals — even more attractive to potential subscribers of those terminals.

And, in a memo to staffers BW publisher Keith Fox said: Joining forces with another of the world’s leading news organizations enhances BusinessWeek’s ability to further serve our global audience and our valued customers. And Bloomberg will gain a powerful brand with a history of editorial excellence and strong reach among business professionals.

Business Week reports that there is no word as yet about whether the two web sites will morph into one, although at present there is almost no kind of overlap of content between them.

Still, you can’t help but think – a year ago there were four business magazines.  Conde Nast’s Portfolio is gone, BW has been sold, and the fortunes of Forbes and Fortune are looking rather grim, as well.

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