After undertaking layoffs last week, BusinessWeek is now facing a daunting future as it rebuilds and repurposes itself under Bloomberg LP‘s leadership. And as departing tech writer Stephen Baker points out, it looks like the company’s library is trying to have grim sense of humor about the whole thing.
As Marion Maneker writes on The Big Money today, incoming editor Josh Tyrangiel has his work cut out for him, but the former Time editor and business journalism outsider may just be what the struggling magazine needs:
“In buying BW, Bloomberg has acquired the infrastructure of a magazine, but little in the way of editorial assets to exploit. In hiring Tyrangiel, it still hasn’t cracked the editorial conundrum. A fluid writer, a no-nonsense manager, and an editor with a broad range of interests, Tyrangiel’s greatest success at Time was his ability to coax the editorial staff onto the Web by using what Tyrangiel often calls ‘medium recognition.’ That’s the awareness of what kind of content works best in print or on the Web — and having the ability to execute against that awareness. Medium recognition isn’t the whole solution to the editorial riddle, but it is a big start. …
Where BusinesWeek goes from here will be a litmus test for magazines and media. The Bloomberg team swears by the magazine and says they plan to invest in it heavily. The imperatives of the 21st century surely mean they will take another run at figuring out BusinessWeek.com. And despite Tyrangiel’s lack of formal credentials as a business journalist, he had tremendous success in building Time.com’s Web traffic over a few years. (Of course, he had corporate access to the CNN.com juggernaut for help.)”
Will Tyrangiel follow Maneker’s advice and model BusinessWeek after New York magazine?
“New York magazine has deep-pocketed ownership willing to invest in a great product. It takes a wise, witty, and knowing voice and applies that to some crucial constituencies. New York uses the Web to stay in constant contact with those subgroups and takes the most successful items from there and adapts them to print…
Having that sensibility — and Tyrangiel, who is equally comfortable talking pop music and politics, has it — is far more important to reviving BusinessWeek than having a specific background in business. Which may be another way of saying that medium recognition is the best hope of Tyrangiel’s generation.”
As Tyrangiel works to revive the brand, Bloomberg is looking to promote it, reportedly looking for an ad agency to market the company’s media brands worldwide. Bloomberg is also consolidating, shuttering its book publishing business, Bloomberg Press.
And as we continue the rolling tally of editorial staffers who will not be making the move to Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek, the magazine’s chief economist Michael Mandel announced Friday that he would not be transitioning:
“As for me? I’ve got definite plans that I’m not ready to post about yet. I will, however, put up a new email address before closing down shop here. I will continue blogging at a new location, with a hiatus of a month or two.”
BusinessWeek‘s Mr. Outside –The Big Money
Bloomberg Seeks Agency For Global Branding –Advertising Age