A few months ago, 24/7 Wall Street, a New York-based blog, suggested that the sun was about to set on BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune — and that BusinessWeek would be the first to go. Well, they were right. McGraw-Hill Cos., the parent company of S&P and BusinessWeek, has reportedly hired boutique investment bank Evercore Partners to sell the venerable magazine that started in 1929. Fortune and Forbes are from that era of magazines as well.
It’s a sad day for business publications. I don’t particularly miss Portfolio, the $100 million disaster produced by CondeNast Publications, but those big three have been part of my media diet for a very long time. Never mind that I once worked for Forbes.com, Fortune’s parent company and now partner with BusinessWeek, which syndicates our content — and still have dozens of friends there.
There is, of course, a massive upheaval taking place in the media business. While some have foolishly blamed Google, the fact of the matter is that the relentless forces of Moore’s Law and broadband, along with economic and demographic shifts, are what’s causing this massive disruption of the media landscape.
The inevitability of it all is what makes it so depressing. I am seriously glad that so far The Economist, my favorite paper-based publication, remains far removed from the current crisis. But the question now is, who’s next? Any guesses?