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Posts Tagged ‘Jon Fine’

Bloomberg Makes Bid For BusinessWeek

businessweekcover.jpgBusinessWeek‘s media columnist Jon Fine reported yesterday that Bloomberg LP has made its official bid for the magazine, although Fine himself admits he has no info about the bid’s details:

“A bid from Bloomberg is widely expected to make the business information giant the prohibitive favorite to purchase BusinessWeek. (Caveat time: I write that phrase as one ignorant of the exact details of the bids for the magazine I work for. And if you’d asked me around a week ago who’d win BusinessWeek. I’d have told you Lazard Chairman Bruce Wasserstein — who last Monday night decided against submitting a final bid.)”

However, Fine has done his homework about privately-held Bloomberg, which is said to earn about $5 billion a year thanks in part to the terminals its subscribers must purchase. The company has even seemingly weathered the recession pretty well. Says Fine:

“When I looked at their media operations, around a year ago, Bloomberg was employing 2,350 journalists — or around 15 percent more than the combined staffs [of] The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And Bloomberg’s staff has grown since then.”

More information about the bids for BusinessWeek should come out soon. Despite the other parties who were said to be interested in the magazine did any one else make a final bid? We’ll wait to see.

Bloomberg Submits Its Bid For BusinessWeekBusinessWeek

Earlier: Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

businessweek.jpg After tracking the upcoming BusinessWeek sale all summer, the magazine’s own media columnist Jon Fine has compiled all the known information about the transaction and put together this helpful guide.

So what do we know? The deadline for any interested parties to place a bid for the magazine is tomorrow. And Fine knows of at least seven potential bidders who have gotten debriefed by BusinessWeek execs and the management of the magazine’s owner, McGraw-Hill:

“They are New York Magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein; Fast Company and Inc. owner Joe Mansueto; and four private equity firms: Platinum Equity, Warburg Pincus, OpenGate Capital, and ZelnickMedia. The seventh player is Bloomberg LP, which despite having previously rebuffed McGraw-Hill in talks regarding a deal for BusinessWeek, apparently got very interested very quickly and is expected to meet with BusinessWeek management Monday, Sept. 14.”

Fine also said there are as many as three other unnamed parties who have shown interest, although he has been unable to dig up any info about them. (Know something? Send us an email.)

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Mediabistro Founder Announces Sabbatical

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Mediabistro.com’s founder Laurel Touby is planning some time off.

This morning, Touby and her husband, BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, tweeted about their plans to take a six-month sabbatical to travel the world, starting later this month. The first two countries they’ll hit: Italy and China. Touby and Fine also plan to launch a blog to document their travels, and it will focus on travel, arts, culture and, of course, media.

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In mid-July, Touby announced via Twitter, that two years after selling Mediabistro to WebMediaBrands, her full-time contract had run out and she was now working for the company on a consulting basis.

Today, Touby said she will return to Mediabistro as a consultant after her trip. Fine, who has recently been tracking BusinessWeek‘s impending sale, will also return to his gig at the magazine after their travels have concluded.

Mansueto Eyes BusinessWeek

bw.pngOver the past few weeks, BusinessWeek‘s own media columnist Jon Fine has been tracking the efforts by the magazine’s owner, McGraw-Hill, to sell the business pub.

Yesterday, he reported another possible bidder has entered the fray: Jon Mansueto, whose Mansueto Ventures also owns Inc. and Fast Company.

Mansueto has a history of buying magazines when they’re a good deal, Fine said. “In 2005 Mansueto bought Inc. and Fast Company from Gruner & Jahr for around $35 million in cash plus the assumption of certain liabilities,” he said.

Mansueto’s interest in BusinessWeek might have another explanation as well. John Byrne was editor of Fast Company when Manseuto purchased the magazine and he helped broker the deal that brought Fast Company and Inc. under Mansueto’s control. He left the company shortly thereafter to return to … BusinessWeek. He currently serves as executive editor of the magazine and editor-in-chief of Businessweek.com.

Meanwhile, as Fine previously reported, other parties are also interested in possibly making a bid for BusinessWeek and have taken meetings with the magazine’s management. New York magazine owner Bruce Wasserstein met with BusinessWeek insiders earlier this week, and three private equity firms have also shown an interest.

Read the whole story here.

Earlier: BusinessWeek Update: There Are Interest Parties

BusinessWeek Update: There Are Interested Parties

businessweek.pngBusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine has some excellent insight into the progress of the sale of his employer.

According to Fine, OpenGate Capital, the private equity firm that bought TV Guide magazine last year, and Bruce Wasserstein, who picked up New York magazine in 2003, have both shown interest in BusinessWeek, which is currently owned by McGraw-Hill.

Although some financial information was already sent out to interested parties six weeks ago, the magazine’s management is going to be making full presentations soon, starting as early as the end of next week or early August, Fine said. Other companies will most likely attend the presentations besides OpenGate and Wasserstein, but McGraw-Hill is remaining mum.

However, some companies have already passed on the business magazine including Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg and private equity firm Investcorp, which owns American Banker.

Fine also uncovered some of BusinessWeek‘s financial data, after the jump

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Trying To Find A Business Model That Works

IMG_1821 - Version 2.jpgLast night’s panel produced by Mediabistro.com and sponsored by Demand Studios focused on finding a business model for news on the Web but — like most panels of its kind — no real conclusions were reached.

The panel was moderated by BusinessWeek columnist Jon Fine, and featured (in photo from left to right) “rogue girl blogger” Maegan Carberry, NYU professor Jay Rosen, Mediaite.com Editor at Large Rachel Sklar and NewJerseyNewsroom.com‘s Matt Romanoski.

Moderator Fine started the panel off with some scary statics — comparing the amount of ad sales money generated by the New York Times versus the Huffington Post. The Times made over $1 billion in ad revenue last year. he said. How can an online media company compete with that?

Some suggestions were tossed around, including asking readers to pay for content. Sklar suggested that media companies should make it easy for readers to purchase access to information, replicating the “buy” button on Amazon.com or iTunes that is connected to saved credit card information. She also suggested charging for “freemium” or extra content, and said she wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars a month to use Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.

“I wouldn’t mind paying for Twitter because they I would own my Tweets if anything ever went wrong,” she said.

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Bloomberg, News Corp. Not Interested In BusinessWeek

businessweek.pngYesterday, the big news in the magazine industry was McGraw-Hill‘s decision to put BusinessWeek up for sale. Bloomberg broke the story in the morning, and by the afternoon BusinessWeek‘s own media reporter, Jon Fine, had weighed in.

According to Fine, “McGraw-Hill had held discussions earlier this year with Bloomberg regarding a sale of BusinessWeek,” but the newswire passed. Then Bloomberg became the first news organization to report the sale.

Today, the Financial Times reported that the sale of BusinessWeek might only fetch $1 for McGraw-Hill and weighed the possible buyers.

“Industry members and bankers said it was unlikely that Time Warner’s Time Inc., publisher of Fortune, or Forbes would bid for a competitor while facing similar challenges themselves,” FT said. “Among the few groups investing in print media, bankers pointed to Bloomberg, which has recruited new management for an aggressive expansion of its financial magazine, Bloomberg Markets, and Bonnier, which has become a top-10 U.S. publisher through acquisitions…a Bonnier spokesman said it had always favored niche acquisitions. A spokesman for News Corp., owner of the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, said it was not interested in BusinessWeek.”

As the Journal pointed out in its story about the possible sale today, it is not an easy market for business magazines right now. So who, if anyone, is going to step up and buy a flagging BusinessWeek?

Earlier: BusinessWeek On The Block?

Web Journalists To Debate Business Model At Upcoming Mediabistro Panel

keyboard.jpgNext week, mediabistro will be hosting a panel that will discuss how social media is changing the face of journalism, whether an online business model is on the horizon and what that business model may look like.

We suspect this panel, moderated by BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, will be similar to last week’s Reuters <a href="panel or this week’s Gotham Media panel about the media in crisis. However, while Reuters and Gotham Media offered insight from “old media” editors like Lawrence Ingrassia from The New York Times, the Financial TimesChrystia Freeland and Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson and Air America‘s Bennett Zier, next week’s panel will have a distinctive point of view from panelists with vast online experience including NYU journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen, Mediaite.com Editor at Large Rachel Sklar, blogger Maeghan Carberry and former Star-Ledger staffer Matt Romanoski, who helped found NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

In the hopes of learning a little bit more about what this panel will focus on, we picked moderator Fine’s brain for a bit. “There isn’t an answer,” Fine said of the ever elusive online business model question for media companies. “But if you can get people to pay for something you’re in good shape.”

Expect panelists to wrestle with this conundrum, offer suggestions and advice and describe their own experiences. It all goes down July 16.

(Photo via flickr)

WaPo Nixes Salons In Face Of Criticism|The New York Blade Closes Up Shop|MediaNews Denies Bankruptcy|Boston Mag Owner Dumps “Idiot” Editors|SalaryTK’s Unpaid Job Posts Sad But True


FishbowlDC: The Washington Post responded to criticism of its proposal offering lobbyists and others off-the-record access to reporters and editors for a price. The “salon” idea has since been nixed altogether. Also: some fun bits from the AP‘s interview with President Barack Obama today.

The New York Times: Biweekly gay newspaper The New York Blade has suspended publication after its parent company, HX Media, was sold.

Editor & Publisher: MediaNews Group, which publishes the Denver Post and other daily papers, has denied bankruptcy rumors.

Boston Globe: Boston magazine owner Herb Lipson‘s approach to owning a magazine: “When the economy turns and it [the magazine] gets skinny, he figures the editor is an idiot,” a former editor said.

BusinessWeek: Jon Fine has a chuckle at SalaryTK.com, “The job board for journalists who don’t want to get paid.”

Watch This: NYT Interactive Newsroom Panel From Mediabistro Circus

mbcircustent.pngMiss the circus? Now you can experience it right from your desktop.

Footage from the Mediabistro Circus presentation by members of The New York Times‘ digital newsroom is now available for Mediabistro On Demand subscribers.

The panel, moderated by BusinessWeek columnist Jon Fine, featured Times‘ multimedia editor Andrew DeVigal, graphics editor Steve Duenes and Fiona Spruill, editor of the web newsroom, who gave a behind-the-scenes look into some of the new interactive creations on the Times Web site, including One in 8 Million.

A free preview of the panel can be found here and you can get the full 58-minute experience by subscribing to Mediabistro On Demand.

Also available on demand now is author Tim Ferriss‘s Mediabistro Circus presentation about social media, blogging and self-promotion.

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