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PR Win: NYT Profiles Forbes Right Before It Goes Up for Sale

0717_forbes-cover-vergara-080612_400x51911This morning’s big media news scoop, via Bloomberg: Forbes Media is on the market for sale to the highest bidder.

As Skift‘s Rafat Ali notes, this announcement comes less than a week after The New York Times ran a big profile of the business. Coincidence or great PR? We think you know the answer.

Hell, the headline reads “Preserving Venerable Forbes Brand, With an Aggressive Digital Drive”, and the article is all about how the Forbes native advertising program (which totally works, BTW), along with sponsored events and other new revenue streams, will increase its value as a standout in the floundering media field. From the second and eighth paragraphs:

Forbes Media’s 60-year-old soft-spoken and folksy chief executive…has spent the last three years transforming the company from a financially troubled family business into an enterprise that has moved aggressively to embrace the new digital landscape.

Forbes spokeswoman said that advertising revenue for Forbes.com would grow by 35 percent from 2010 to 2013

Times columnist Christine Haughney just wrote their sales pitch for them.

OK, it’s not all praise: Haughney also notes that “Forbes’s print advertising pages declined 12.3 percent compared with the same time the year before” and that some criticize the move into native for “eroding Forbes’s once strong journalism” (don’t say that to native ads head Lewis D’Vorkin).

Honestly, though: do investors really care about brand integrity? The point of the story is that Forbes has found new ways to make money, which is perfectly planned PR.

Now think about this fact: the going price for the entire Forbes Media empire will be $400 million. Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million. And sexting app Snapchat—whose CEO can’t handle any “controversial” questions—just refused an offer to be bought by Facebook for…3 BILLION DOLLARS.

Time to reconsider your life choices?

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