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If Zelnick Did It, BusinessWeek Edition; Keith Fox Out

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So Thomson Reuters’ involvement in the BusinessWeek bid was even deeper than I first reported. Peter Kafka reports, based on a source, about ZelnickMedia’s plans if the PE firm would have been successful at buying the troubled magazine, including closing the print edition, dumping all staff and replacing with Reuters stories, and keeping 20 or so journos to work on the website. The Reuters involvement is interesting, because initially I reported that it would have a content arrangement in the deal structure, something that was played down in a subsequent report by BW’s own Tom Lowry. Then in terms of price, McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP) would pay the firm to take the publication off its hands, a bit like what Reed Elsevier (NYSE: RUK) offered when it unsuccessfully tried to sell Reed Business last year. Not a bad plan overall, as it’s probably something that would be more successful as an independent venture, unlike the Bloomberg-subsidized mag that it will now become.

Second exec casualty, though no surprise: Keith Fox, the publisher of the mag, under whose disastrous regime the company spent crazy money on the website, and sunk major money into a print redesign, to no effect. He is staying at McGraw-Hill, Peter reports. The first senior exec to go was Stephen Adler, who was editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek for four years. So essentially, dumping off all the top management, the right move by Bloomberg.

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