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Conde Nast's Portfolio Closes

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on April 27, 2009

Seth Godin says that today, media is free, but attention is not. The closing of Conde Nast’s 2-year old monthly business magazine, Portfolio, proves his point. Portfolio was a lush, expensive paen to an era of big advertising budgets from big corporations spent on mass audiences. This era has been ending since the the technological innovation of web, Google and targeted advertising fused with a quick-quick, multiple tasking, attention-challenged culture of Gen Y. Maybe a decade ago?

The Great Recession and the decline of entire industries that once had those fat ad budgets—finance, cars, technology, travel—accelerated the shift away from big magazines, newspapers and mass media in general. Ads for magazines are down by 25% this year and 46% for Porfolio itself so far in 2009.

Check out FineOnMedia for the tick-toc of the Portfolio closing.

As a journalist, editor, writer, I personally have made the transition from Voice of Authority of the Business Week editorial page in print to Curator of Conversations on innovation and design on Business Week online. I believe that an economic model will evolve for “print” journalism that works, probably in combination with the online medium. That “print” journalism—investigative stories, meaningful stories, insightful stories, engaging stories—may well be done on Kindle-type electronic players without the expense of print. And it could be joined to the collaborative, interactive, video-centric, emotional, short-burst wire-service journalism online.

Why not?

Reader Comments

Arthur Eves

April 30, 2009 9:29 PM

Folks like you saw the changes coming and managed to negotiate the transition. Whole industries turned a blind eye because it would cut into profits. Profits that became losses when there cultural position was disintermediated by social and technical changes.

Kudos to you for building an ark. My question is, "Is it big enough?"

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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