Plans to Fold Magazine Into 'eCompany Now'

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NEW YORK ( -- AOL Time Warner's Fortune Group agreed to acquire the assets of Business 2.0 from Imagine Media and fold them
Business 2.0 and eCompany Now will be merged into one.
into eCompany Now. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will close in four to six weeks, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Fortune Group acquired the Business 2.0 brand and trademark, as well as the magazine's online and conference activities. After the close, eCompany Now will assume the Business 2.0 name, starting with its August/September issue, which will be on newsstands Aug. 13, said Ned Desmond, editor and president of eCompany Now, who will hold the same titles in the new Business 2.0.

Some staffers to come over
Fortune Group plans to hire "a small group" of Business 2.0 staffers, Mr. Desmond said.

The new magazine will combine aspects from both publications, such as the marketing focus of Business 2.0 and eCompany Now's concentration of feature stories, Mr. Desmond said. The magazines' Web sites will also come together under the address

The new magazine will have a paid rate base of 550,000, which would be higher than either eCompany Now and Business 2.0, which had a rate base of 375,000 and 350,000, respectively.

The new Business 2.0, now a bi-weekly, will become a monthly and will have the same trim size and paper as eCompany Now.

Successful start-up
Launched three years ago, Business 2.0 was one of the most successful publishing start-ups of the dot-com boom years, but it suffered in the recent tech meltdown. Last year, it raked in a 183.3% increase in ad pages, but as the economy wound down in the first quarter, so did its ad revenue; ad pages declined 38.6% in the first quarter.

On Feb. 16, Imagine Media, which posted a 24% drop in ad pages during the first quarter, said it would shutter six U.S. magazines, lay off 350 people and investigate sale options for Business 2.0.

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