In naming an ad director for Pursuits 11 months before the magazine's planned introduction, the Journal is borrowing a page from the development playbook of Conde Nast Portfolio, which appointed its top team a full 20 months before the first issue came out. But even with the head start, Ms. Friedman will have plenty of challenges, given intensifying attention on the business category -- and the category's growing battle for the luxury advertising Pursuits will need to attract.
Ad sales for business magazines have gotten notably brutal, while change has become frequent. Fortune replaced its top editor last fall. Its parent, Time Inc., named a new president for its business and finance group in June, charging him with change, then shut down Business 2.0, a one-time star of the category, in September. BusinessWeek, which just come out with a redesign, has revealed plans to start a monthly magazine for Chicago and perhaps other cities beyond. Joe Mansueto is pouring money into Fast Company and Inc. And Forbes has created a spinoff called Forbes Life Executive Woman.
The Journal, for its part, said last month that it would proceed with long-gestating plans to produce a glossy, describing its editorial focus as an "intimate view of the world of wealth."
Today Michael F. Rooney, chief revenue officer at Journal parent Dow Jones, made the business goal just as clear. "'Pursuits' will extend the Journal's highly successful 'Business of Life' franchise and attract more luxury advertisers to reach the Journal's affluent and influential audience," he said in a statement.