BusinessWeek Undergoes Redesign for ’21st Century Appeal’ Not a response to Portfolio, president says.
Not a response to Portfolio, president says.
BusinessWeek is getting ready to pull back the curtain on the magazine’s first major redesign in four years. The fresh look, packaged with a number of editorial changes, will debut with the issue on newsstands Friday, October 12.
“We have taken 18 months to create this design, which was based on market research and reader input,” BusinessWeek group president Keith Fox tells Folio: Alert. Fox joined BusinessWeek in April after serving as president of McGraw-Hill Professional. “The goal of the redesign is to enhance the reader’s experience and to update the magazine to have a 21st century appeal. It will bring our readers faster, smarter and richer content. It would probably be best to call this a relaunch, not a redesign.”
One immediately noticeable change is the logo. BusinessWeek’s design team, headed by art director Andrew Horton, replaced the serif logo with a smaller sans serif logo, and removed the blue bar across its bottom. Inside, the magazine will feature oversize page numbers and bold department names to help readers navigate each issue. A number of sections have either been renamed or relocated, including “Personal Finance,” now called “Personal Business.” New sections include “Links” and “What’s Next,” Fox says, and the “Business Week” section has been expanded.
As part of an attempt to shift the magazine’s focus exclusively on business, the lifestyle column “Executive Life” has been eliminated. Retrenching its business coverage is a move Fox hopes will help reposition BusinessWeek against other weeklies and business magazines, although the overall redesign was not a reaction to pressures from competitors such as Condé Nast’s Portfolio, says Fox. “Our mission is to deliver hard-hitting, timely business content to our audience, whatever the medium,” he says. “This content, and its relationship to our user, is the heart of our brand.”
BusinessWeek, like other magazines in its category, has seen a drop-off in ad revenues this year, with ad pages down 16.5 percent through October 1, according to the Mediaweek Monitor. Fox says he’s confident the redesign will help boost the magazine’s bottom line. “Our category has suffered from the decline in advertising, but we have received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from a broad list of advertisers who have seen the prototype, and we are confident that it will positively affect advertising,” he says. “Whenever you do a redesign, you risk upsetting the status quo with readers. But that’s why our redesign was market-research and reader-driven—we’re actually responding to what the market told us they want, so we’ll be serving our readers and advertisers better.”