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Monday, September 12, 2005

Unconventional Wisdom 

Conde Nast's $100 Million Gamble

Interesting article from the New York Times, linked above, on Conde Nast's planned foray into glossy business magazine publishing. What strike me most is how this move is seen as flying in the face of convention wisdom: the consumer business magazine ad market is suffering, the monthly frequency is seen as a weakness, business journalism isn't a core strength at Conde Nast.

Perhaps we need more such unconventional wisdom--especially if it's backed up with patient investment, and led by former New Yorker publisher David Carey (wasn't the conventional wisdom that Conde Nast made a bad investment with that magazine?) and the Wall Street Journal's Joanne Lippman.

Grab: "Actually, I'm surprised somebody didn't see the opportunity sooner," said [Steve] Forbes, [president and CEO of Forbes]. "Even though the category has taken a tough hit, it still leads in pages and appeals to an affluent, influential group of people. I think the question then becomes, Why wouldn't you want to participate in that if you are a major publishing company?" (Note the tidbit in the article about acquisition discussions between the Newhouse's and the Forbes'.]

At any rate, the energy and pizazz that the Conde Nasters will bring to the consumer business publishing market can't help but sustain some buzz for us in the b2b trenches--much in the same way Wired short circuited conventional thinking among technology trades.

Small disclosure: One of our clients is owned by the same parent company as Conde Nast, but the relationship is distant.

Via IWantMedia.


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