forbescom, Magazine United at Last by Layoffs

Owen Thomas · 01/06/09 03:59PM

We hear Forbes, the fussily conservative business magazine, is laying off Web and print staff today, and merging the surviving editors and writers into a single newsroom. It only took them a decade.

Forbes memo confirms print, Web staff merging

Owen Thomas · 11/17/08 03:20PM

Ending a longstanding internal split that dates back to the days of the first dotcom boom, Forbes Media is merging the staff which puts out the conservative-leaning business magazine and its online component, which run separately and with a ludicrous amount of mutual suspicion and jealousy. (Valleywag had gotten wind of these plans last month.) An internal memo sent by CEO Steve Forbes to staff says that print and online sales and marketing will be immediately integrated, reporting up to an "office of the chairman" which includes publisher Jim Spanfeller, whom rumors had previously pegged as the head of the combined operation. Integration of the Web and print editorial staff won't happen until early 2009. Translation: No one in the newsroom will know what's happening to their job until next year. Here's the memo:

Forbes, Cox pay blogs to run anti-gay-marriage ads

Owen Thomas · 10/31/08 05:20PM, the online arm of the right-wing business magazine, is offering to pay blogs to run a political ad supporting a ban on gay marriage. The price: $2.85 per thousand pageviews. The ad advocates the passage of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative. The blogs in question are part of Forbes's Business and Financial Blog Network, an online-ad network which places ads sold by Forbes salespeople on independent sites. The network itself is run by Adify, an ad-technology company now owned by Cox, the media-and-cable-TV conglomerate. The ad won't run automatically, according to an email from Sharon Gitelle, who's listed on as a "membership" contact; bloggers must specifically choose it. Politics aside, a $2.85 CPM, or cost per thousand pageviews, is nothing to sneeze at in these tough economic times. Reached on the phone, Gitelle said, "I'm not talking to Valleywag." So we know this much: She's no dummy! Here's the email she sent:

Two promoted at Forbes

Owen Thomas · 10/23/08 05:40PM

Something is stirring at Forbes Media, the publisher of Forbes magazine and, two similarly named but otherwise uncooperative publications. Bill Baldwin, the paper tiger who runs print editorial, has issued a memo to his staff announcing two promotions. The Dickensianly named Stewart Pinkerton "will continue to spend a lot of his time overseeing the contributions of print writers to and vice versa." The other guy, Tom Post, will remain another faceless middle-management drone, but we're inclined to like the guy, since he went to the University of Chicago., Forbes careerists gird for battle

Owen Thomas · 10/23/08 02:40PM

David Churbuck, the founder of (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 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.

Forbes writers clueless on magazine's fate

Owen Thomas · 10/22/08 04:40PM

A high-profile New York magazine company handing control of its flagship print property to a Web executive would be a great story about the transformation of media. Normally, writers at Forbes would be all over it — if it weren't happening to them. Yesterday's rumor about Forbes Media merging the magazine and — two distinct operations, housed in separate offices, whose managers don't get along — and tapping chief Jim Spanfeller to run the combination has provoked a collective wave of head-scratching from current and former Forbesians. Could it happen? One writer tells us that Forbes management has denied the rumor so unconvincingly that workers there are all concluding it must be true. "I work at Forbes. I'll be the last to know," says one. He disputes the idea that Forbes and its website don't work well together, giving several examples of Web and print writers crossing the line — but the fact that those are notable, rather than routine, just highlights Forbes's lack of cooperation. His note: exacts revenge of nerds on Forbes

Owen Thomas · 10/21/08 05:00PM

Most magazines keep their Web and print staffs apart, a legacy of petty rivalries, bureaucratic turf wars, and a fear of change. But Forbes Media has elevated balkanization into an art form. The two sides of the company barely speak to each other. The Forbes family tolerated this, but Elevation Partners, the Silicon Valley private-equity fund which counts Bono as a partner and now owns 40 percent of Forbes is not so patient. A tipster tells us that a "big shakeup" is coming, with the editorial staffs of both magazine and website getting "smashed together."Literally, in the real-estate sense. In New York, Forbes is housed at 60 Fifth Avenue, while is at 90 Fifth Avenue. Now, the publisher is said to be taking a floor at 60 Fifth to house the dotcom reporters, while it clears out "deadwood long-timers." The new mandate: Everyone will write for both Web and print. Which sounds sensible — unless you work at Forbes. What Forbes is not planning to announce: What sounds like a merger is really a takeover — by Jim Spanfeller, the publisher of, will run the combined operation. "It's a massive coup, one that print people have long seen coming and long feared," says our tipster. As well they should: The editors of Forbes have long looked down on their Web brethren. Now they will be working for them.

Google's Ad Planner no threat to Nielsen, ComScore

Nicholas Carlson · 07/01/08 01:40PM

Media buyers and major publishers say that despite ComScore shareholders' worries, Google's Ad Planner, which provides Web metrics and demographic data to online advertisers, won't dislodge Web-traffic measurement leader ComScore or its rival Nielsen. “[Google needs] to add so many things, it’s not even a consideration at this point,” Mediasmith CEO David Smith told Mediaweek. “It’s absolutely not ready for prime time.” And publishers say Ad Planner won't provide advertisers a more accurate look at their inventories. “Their numbers are as bad or worse as anybody else’s out there,” CEO Jim Spanfeller said. So why bother? Google just wants advertisers to pay more attention to the sites it reps through its AdSense network.

Alpha Kitty To 'Times': Be 'HuffPo'!

Emily · 05/02/07 04:19PM

"I have spent the last decade eating... uh... I mean reading, sweets exclusively. One might even say I'm addicted. Before I drink my morning sugar-free (ironic) Red Bull, I've already gobbled up The New York Post (horoscopes first, Page Six second) and Women's Wear Daily's Memo Pad column. Then, I pretty much subsist on MySpace—the micro-media Lothario that stole me away from the old man—with jolts of Perez Hilton when things get too sweet. (He is my Sour Patch Kid.)" That's the digital impresario Atoosa Rubenstein, whose new job is telling the fogeys who read how to understand the internet tubes.