Mansueto CEO on Business 2.0: “We Made a Serious Offer”
When the news broke earlier this week that Time Inc. would shutter Business 2.0 and reassign many of its editorial staff members to sister publication Fortune, some in the industry wondered why the publisher didn’t sell the ailing magazine instead.
“We looked for the best scenario for Business 2.0—one that would nurture the spirit of the brand’s unique coverage and reporting,” Time Inc. spokesperson Danielle Perissi says. “We explored external offers, but in the end determined folding the content into Fortune was the best solution.”
One of those external offers came from Mansueto Ventures, publisher of rival Fast Company magazine. “Yes, we talked to them, and we made a serious offer,” Mansueto Ventures CEO John Koten tells Folio: Alert. “We thought that we could find a way to keep the brand going within the context of our business.” Koten declined to discuss the financial details of the offer, although one report put the offer at about $5 million.
But hammering out an agreement proved to be a difficult task. “We couldn’t reach an agreement on price or terms,” Koten explains. “I think it was tough to do a deal because, even though we are a flea compared to Time Warner, we’re competitors in the business magazine arena. It was also hard from a timing perspective. Once word got out that Time was contemplating closing the magazine, the value of the franchise eroded very quickly.”
Last month, rumors circulated that the September issue of Business 2.0 would be its last. Time Inc. decided to retain the staff an extra few weeks to put together the October issue. A passionate group of Business 2.0 readers even formed a group on social networking site Facebook to show support for the magazine.
Ten Business 2.0 editorial staffers—including longtime editor Josh Quittner—were reassigned to sister publication Fortune magazine. In an internal memo obtained by media gossip site Jossip, Time Inc. COO John Squires expressed his regret about losing some Business 2.0 staffers, but wrote that folding Business 2.0 into Fortune creates “the largest