Posted by: Jon Fine on June 22, 2009
Many media types routinely namecheck The Economist as a favorite magazine. I am not among them. Yes, The Economist is global and comprehensive and all that, but more often than not the tone strikes me as smug and, good Lord, it is not a particularly energizing read.
But while I may be convinced that that the Economist’s admiredness-to-actually-being-read ratio tops that of every other magazine on the planet, including The New Yorker—a magazine I do actually read, but is notorious for existing primarily in unread piles atop nighttables—The Economist is managing the feat of bettering its business in an absolutely gruesome market.
For the year ending March 31, sayeth paidcontent.org:
Economist Group posted operating profits 26 percent higher than last year at £56 million and revenue 17 percent better revenue of £313 million.
The profit numbers were boosted, the company admits, by layoffs. But the revenue growth is what surprises me. You don’t hear many stories like among old-media companies these days, regardless of the dismissive things said about your primary product by certain irritable media columnists.
The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.