McGraw-Hill has begun “exploring strategic options for BusinessWeek,” a brand that debuted in 1929. Print ad pages at BusinessWeek and competitors Forbes and Fortune began plummeting after the dot-com bust. In 2000, BusinessWeek sold 6,005 print ad pages; in 2008 it was down to 1,882, only 31% of that number, and down 37% again this year over the same period last year. Print ad revenue collapsed alongside ad pages count; 2008 revenue is estimated reach only 41% of 2000 revenue, and observers estimate losses in 2008 were $75 million and $20 million already this year. The print ad page decline at BusinessWeek is similar to the plunge at its longtime competitors, Forbes and Fortune. Forbes’ pages dropped 30.2% in the first half of this year, while Fortune’s fell 38.2%.
Outsell’s lead analyst Chuck Richard commented in his recent Outsell Insight (July 24th, 2009): No one can be surprised that McGraw-Hill is no longer willing to subsidize any more $75 million losses. This is the tangible sign of the withering away of the “news weekly” as a product: it is a broken pairing, a mis-match of medium (print and online “digest of the week that passed”) with today’s users’ expectation of news (instant, not a week old). Source: Outsell Inc. www.outsellinc.com
Joachim C Bartels is a co-founder, director, head of information resources and Editor-in-Chief of BIIA. In his capacity as Editor-in-Chief he is responsible for the selection of relevant information content concerning industry insights, trends, technological developments, standards and policies impacting BIIA members in particular and the business information industry in general.
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