|'Business 2.0' is back.
The September issue, which will claim circulation of about 550,000, will run about 97 ad pages, said publisher Lisa Bentley. The rate base of the relaunched magazine will be 550,000, while eCompany Now's base had been 325,000. Advertisers on board with the old publication before the deal was announced will pay the same rates despite the added circulation.
The cover of the September issue -- buttressing the claim new-economy books make these days that their purview is no longer dot-coms but how technology is reshaping traditional business -- features shots of top executives from United Parcel Service, brokerage Charles Schwab & Co. and energy concern Enron Corp. The cover visually echoes the silver background eCompany typically featured, and the red of its former logo turns up in the "2.0" -- but executives insist the name change is a winner, despite the checkered success magazines that switch titles have had.
John Huey, former Fortune managing editor and current editorial director of Time Inc., downplayed any concerns about changing eCompany Now's title. "We needed to get into the category and play it as it laid," he said, and painted the new magazine as the marriage of the category's "two clear winners in paid circulation."
Betting on the category
"This is a rough market, and we are doubling down" the company's bet in the category, Mr. Huey added. "That's what makes it an interesting story."
Chris Poleway, president of Time Inc.'s Fortune Group -- to which eCompany Now and Business 2.0 will report to -- said Business 2.0 subscribers were offered an opt-out on the new magazine and those that went for it only numbered "in the hundreds." Business 2.0, like many of the new-economy titles, was brutalized by the collapse of the dot-com economy. Through July, its ad pages are down 65.5%.
Mr. Poleway also said that around the time of eCompany Now's launch, Time Inc. had abortive discussions with Business 2.0 publishers Imagine Media over partnership prospects, but he refused to comment on whether the value of those potential deals equaled or exceeded the $68 million Time Inc. ultimately paid.
Mr. Huey added that "it's logical" there would be more consolidation among the new economy titles. "I would surprised if it didn't happen," he said.