Bloomberg's investment makes 'Businessweek' hot, hot, hot

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Phone: (212) 318-2000 URL: Circulation: 932,568* Traffic: 12 million UMV** Ad revenue (print): $223 million *** Ad revenue (online): N/A Ad rate (print): $156,900 (global) Ad rate (online): $18 to $200 CPM * Audit Bureau of Circulations ** comScore *** Publishers Information Bureau BusinessWeek was cold. In the minds of many, it was almost dead. The publication had lost about two-thirds of its ad pages between the high-water mark of 2000 and 2009. So McGraw-Hill Cos. put the brand it founded in 1929 up for sale. Among the few that saw potential in BusinessWeek was Bloomberg, which acquired it for $5 million. In less than three years, it has turned around the brand, now known as Bloomberg Businessweek. “It's hot, hot, hot,” said Gina Biel, associate media director at Bader Rutter & Associates. “[McGraw-Hill] was ready to throw in the towel, and they were trying to get it sold. [Bloomberg] has been able to turn around the magazine in a pretty quick time frame and in a challenging time.” Hugh Wiley, publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek, agreed with that assessment. “I've been in this business for 25 years, and I've never worked for a brand that feels this hot.” Wiley said investment and innovation have combined to revive the brand. “It started over two years ago with a large investment in the brand,” he said. “We invested in the recession when a lot of brands were pulling back. That is very Bloomberg-like in culture.” A key investment: Bloomberg Businessweek increased its rate base from 900,000 to 980,000. The magazine is also using an innovative distribution channel, employing newspaper-delivery services to make sure the publication is on front steps Friday mornings rather than in mailboxes the following week. Bloomberg Businessweek also has invested in editorial and taps into Bloomberg's more than 2,000 journalists worldwide. Wiley gives credit to Editor Josh Tyrangiel for reinvigorating Bloom-berg Businessweek. “How he and [Creative Director] Richard Turley have worked together on the design front has been magical,” he said. Earlier this month, the American Society of Magazine Editors presented Bloomberg Businessweek with a National Magazine Award in the category of general excellence-print for general-interest magazines. Advertisers have responded to the publication's revival, with ad pages increasing 19% in 2011 compared with the previous year, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Marketers also see value in the publication's website and apps. “ has consistently been one of the best-performing websites for the Sage North America campaign,” said David Rowe, VP-media director at Doremus & Co. “We find that the response rates for our banners far exceed anything we see on the other major business sites. Based on this track record, we recently began a mobile advertising program with Businessweek that has also generated strong levels of response and interaction.” —S.C.
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