Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Why Do Consumer Stars So Often Fail to Shine in B-to-B? Michael Wolff, Richard Beckman Are Latest Examples

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Why Do Consumer Stars So Often Fail to Shine in B-to-B? Michael Wolff, Richard Beckman Are Latest Examples

Article excerpt

Let's face it: b-to-b publishing is considered the weak sister to consumer publishing by many in the industry. So why do so many consumer side vets struggle when they make a go at b-to-b?

Richard Beckman brought a lot of attitude as CEO of Prometheus Global Media, promising to revamp the media / entertainment brands (including Adweek and The Hollywood Reporter) that the company had purchased from Nielsen Business Media with a consumer-mag edge.

That attitude was shared by Beckman's big name editorial hires Janice Min ("I guess it shakes the system out here that a so-called trade would dare to break news that wasn't spoon fed. Well, people had better get used to it," Min told The New York Times last year) and Newser founder and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff (who told FOLIO: of the revamped Adweek, "All we're doing is going to the marketplace and saying, 'You were OK with a crappy product, now how can you not be even more enthusiastic about an obviously better product?'")

Now Beckman has been relieved of day-to-day duties and Wolff is out at Adweek amid reports of clashes with Prometheus Global Media chairman Jim Finkelstein. (One publisher said to us, "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.") Adweek is down 4.1 percent in ad pages from January to July, according to FOLIO: sister site minonline.com and IMS / The Auditor.

Adweek remained an aggressive news breaker under Wolff and walked the line between hard news and vanity publishing (Top 10 Technologists, Top 10 Digital Media Buyers) but Adweek in some ways didn't distinguish itself from the coverage in consumer publications. …

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