Business 2.0 May be Closed By September: Report

We have been hearing rumblings on this for a few months now … I asked Vivek Shah, the newly appointed head of Time Inc’s business media group, on this last week, and he said the company will look at everything in its portfolio, but he liked the way it looked now.

Anyway: NYT reports that Business 2.0, the seven-year-old Time Inc. new economy publication, might publish its final issue in September, though a final decision has not been made. If it does close down, about 10 editorial employees will stay on and join Fortune magazine in covering Silicon Valley, the story says.

The magazine has seen a sharp drop in ad pages this year: it was down 38 percent through July 9 of this year, according to MPA figures, though its reader count has remained steady: in 2006 its paid circulation — 623,000, including newsstand sales — was roughly the same as 2005.

Also at issue, the role played by consolidating ad sales for Time Inc.’s business pubs. The suggestion: B2.0 was damaged by being treated as an afterthought in the Time Inc. Business and Finance Network. Christopher Poleway, the veteran Time Inc. sales exec first responsible for that network, was replaced a few weeks ago by Shah. The network is pegged here as “an ill-advised move” that kept B2.0 from being pitched on its own appeal. B2.0 isn’t alone, though: “The consolidation of sales staffs has been tough on other Time Inc. titles as well, with ad dollars, through July 9, down 26.8 percent at Fortune Small Business, 13.4 percent at Fortune and 8.3 percent at Money.”

The story says Josh Quittner, the editor of Business 2.0, has been trying desperately to save the magazine, going as far as trying to raise VC money and buy the magazine back from Time Inc, but was not successful in doing that.


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