David Churbuck, the founder of Forbes.com (and sweaty prep-school wrestling partner of Fake Steve Jobs blogger turned boring Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons), has weighed in on the chaos enveloping his former employer, the investor-friendly, snarkier-than-thou business magazine. Churbuck, like many Forbes alumni, seems to know more of what's going on than its current employees. The publication, now backed by Silicon Valley investment house Elevation Partners, is colliding together its Web and print editorial teams, and the result could be nuclear, as editors and writers scramble for position in the new order. Churbuck observes that the split between print and online had its roots in a plan to spin off Forbes.com in an IPO during the go-go late '90s; even after plans for an IPO were scrapped, the division persisted. Now, Elevation is pushing to consolidate the staffs, Churbuck says. Separately, a tipster reports several personnel moves happening at Forbes. Are they coincidence, or a sign of people positioning their own careers for the coming upheaval? Hard to say.
Earlier this week, we conducted a thoroughly unscientific poll asking Valleywag readers how much Forbes should pay Dan Lyons, the senior editor recently revealed to be Fake Steve Jobs, to bring his faux-Apple-CEO show to the magazine's website. The answer? A solid majority said Forbes should pay Lyons at least $100,000, and the weighted average of the votes came in at $275,495. That's just a bit more than Lyons school chum and Lenovo marketing VP David Churbuck said the blog was worth, shortly before his pal was outed. The people have spoken, and for Lyons's sakes, one hopes his bosses will listen — but I can't help pointing out that that's a lot of cheddar for a blog long on cheese. The final results, after the jump.
Since the two of them got sweaty and wrestled in prep school, Lenovo marketing executive David Churbuck has been a loyal pal to Forbes editor Dan Lyons. For months, Churbuck has been protecting Lyons's secret identity as Fake Steve Jobs. But now we're getting worried. Churbuck, you see, has gone on a fast — just like Fake Steve himself. Now, the public story is that he wants to "lose some weight" and "clear out the plumbing" (ewwww). But we suspect that this is the truth: Churbuck is fasting until the stingy bastards at Forbes give his buddy a big fat raise for selling out his popular blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Now, gentle readers, you have two lives to save, not one. Get Churbuck eating again, and put food on Lyons's table, by voting in our poll: How much should Forbes pay Lyons to be Fake Steve? You decide.
On air yesterday, CNBC anchor Melissa Francis told Dan Lyons, the Forbes editor recently revealed as Fake Steve Jobs, that he deserved a raise. Lyons nervously concurred. Nervously, because he still hasn't concluded fraught negotiations with his employer on how much Forbes will pay to bring his blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, on board when Brad Stone of the New York Times outed him as the author. But no matter. "We've already established what you are, ma'am," I can imagine Forbes publisher Rich Karlgaard telling Lyons. "Now we're just haggling over the price."
Lenovo marketing executive David Churbuck is really, really close to Dan Lyons, the Forbes editor recently outed as Fake Steve Jobs. They went to prep school together. They, um, wrestled together. And then they followed each other from job to job. Can anyone say "stalker"? But here's the really scary part. In a post from February, Churbuck describes, at length, a friend with a popular blog who's trying to find advertisers. A friend who, like Dan Lyons as Fake Steve Jobs, experimented with Google's AdSense program and a CafePress store. Except Churbuck persistently refers to the blogger as "her" and "she." Peter Kafka at Silicon Alley Insider thinks Churbuck was "shielding" Lyons's identity. I don't know, Peter. I think there are some deeper identity issues going on here. Let me say it again, folks: prep school wrestling team. You know what that means.