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20% Down Is The New Up: The Sequel To A Blatant Attempt To Coin A New Catchphrase

Posted by: Jon Fine on March 18, 2009

At the annual Kelly Gang gathering, a rite for a particular New York media tribe each St. Patrick’s Day, I pulled up next to a senior executive in the magazine industry.

In the course of the usual how’s-business chit-chat, I repeated to him my theory that 20% down is the new up.

He gave me a long look.

30% down is the new up,” he corrected me.


A bold attempt at reworking a catchphrase … that has yet to catch on. But I’m not having it. Semi-supporting documentation from my pal and former boss, Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom, who also attended the conference where I concocted the whole 20%-down-is-the-new-etc, in an interview with the New York Observer’s John Koblin (emphasis mine):

“It’s pretty horrible,” said Mr. Bloom “If a publication loses 50 or 60 percent versus last year, that’s half your revenue that disappeared! A great quote from someone I was talking to the other day said I’m just kind of hoping if I can get to 15 or 20 percent down, I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the pack.

You know what I mean?”

Yes, Jonah, I do. I do.



The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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