Monday, July 28, 2014

Forbes Magazine is Un-American!

Something seems wrong when the publication that symbolizes American capitalism and business journalism is sold off to investors in Hong Kong. The American dream has been outsourced.

For $300 million the Forbes family, which has owned Forbes magazine since 1917, has sold out.

Forbes with a U.S. circulation of 933,000, ranks third for business magazines, lagging behind Money and Bloomberg Businessweek.

The magazine was part of Forbes Media, which also owns 24 international websites. We’d like to think that who owns the media doesn’t matter, but it does. Having outsiders own a trusted American brand will only lead to a dilution in quality, doubt in its standards, and a question in its editorial judgment.

On the other hand, having a single family dictate the business news was not a good thing either, but it set a normal standard that lasted for almost a century.

Whenever a brand publication or book publisher is sold, one wonders who will next get sold off. Either times are good and someone looks to buy another and grow or diversify—or times are bad and someone buys another simply because they are affordable and would rather own the competition than play against it.

Will editorial control changes at Forbes create a change in its content or influence? Of course it will. The only question is, by how much and in what direction?

The last half-dozen years has seen many publications trade hands, including The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Newsweek, and Maxim. More changes are coming—mergers, sales, reduced publication schedules, thinner issues, and transitions from print to digital only.

The media is run by a handful of big corporations. This is true in book publishing, magazines, newspapers, TV stations, and movie studios. So the fact that Forbes remains independent of those forces is good, but that its voice comes from overseas is not.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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