REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MEDIA: The Editor's vision - International business magazine editors strive to maintain the brand identities of their titles while tailoring them to appeal to local audiences. Emma Hall reports
By EMMA HALL, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 27 October 2000 12:00AM
JOHN ROSSANT - European Editor, Business Week
JOHN ROSSANT - European Editor, Business Week
Business Week claims a position as the world's leading business news weekly, selling 1.2 million copies worldwide. At present, however, its core market remains the US, with sales of nearly a million weekly. European sales are at around 100,000 copies a week.
John Rossant (above) joined Business Week in September last year, becoming the magazine's first European editor.
'Demographically, we have a different reader profile in Europe from the US. Here we reach an incredible proportion of chief executives and top-level decision-makers,' he says. 'The magazine is widely recognised but I want it to be even more so. I want to make it the buzz of Europe and I am taking concrete steps towards this.'
In a bid to capitalise on the magazine's strong coverage of the new economy and hi-tech scene, Business Week's European edition last month launched a partnership with Le Monde, which now publishes Business Week's hi-tech content every Wednesday in its Interactif supplement. 'There are two branded Business Week pages, which give us terrific exposure,' Rossant says.
In addition, Rossant is increasing the advertising spend and plans to capitalise on the magazine's strong global links. 'We are the only really global magazine,' he says. 'We have a large and experienced international staff with bureaux in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Brussels and Moscow. No other magazine can field that firepower.'
1981 International energy writer, Petroleum Information International
1983 Paris bureau chief, Business Week
1988 Rome and Middle East correspondent, Business Week
1999 European editor, Business Week
DON AND ANN MORRISON - Co-Editors, Time (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
Time magazine has a worldwide readership of 5.6 million. In Europe, the circulation is 627,000. Its editorial position is to explain the most important developments and trends in business, politics, technology and the arts.
Next month, two people, Donald and Ann Morrison (above), will take charge of managing a brand that, they believe, rivals Coca-Cola in its worldwide fame. The joint editors are also husband and wife.
Although both have experience in the international business magazine market within Time's international network, the European market presents a new challenge. Ann was previously the editor of Asiaweek, while Don was the editor of Time Asia.
'The magazine's core strengths are its concise and vivid writing, its award-winning photography and its clean design,' Donald says.
Despite its strong links with the US, Donald claims that the magazine does not only appeal to US ex-pats in Europe. 'Time's readers in Europe are typically male, university-educated managers and professionals who travel a lot and are conversant with the latest technology,' he says.
'One thing they are not is American. Many of our readers are Europeans born and bred.'
The duo are reluctant to discuss future plans for the title. 'It is too early to give details,' Ann says. 'But we do have plans that include enhanced business and technology coverage, design changes, a few new departments and a schedule of exciting special issues.'
1992 Executive editor, Fortune
1994 Editor, Asiaweek magazine
2000 Co-editor, Time (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
1990 Assistant managing editor, Entertainment Weekly
1994 Editor, Time Asia
2000 Co-editor, Time (Europe, Middle East, Africa)
JUSTIN FOX - Europe Editor, Fortune
Fortune magazine, which is published fortnightly, has an average paid circulation of just under one million, of which 76,000 come from Europe.
The man attempting to boost its appeal to European readers is Justin Fox, the European editor since 1996.
Fox, who also speaks Dutch and German, moved to London last January. 'We're working to infuse the magazine's European coverage with the newsmaking style and verve that Fortune is known for in the US,' he says. 'Also, since we figure our European buyers are looking for a global business magazine, we write as much as possible about European business developments that matter around the world and as little as possible about Brussels.'
Fortune was founded in 1930 when Henry Luce (also the man behind Time and Life) decided that the world needed a business magazine with articles by America's greatest writers and illustrations by the world's greatest artists.
As a result, Fox believes that Fortune continues to put more of a premium on great writing and design than any other business title. 'What's new over the past five years is an increased emphasis on technology and start-ups and a more irreverent, hard-hitting style,' he says.
One planned consequence of this extension of the magazine's editorial remit is to expand its readership from its traditional base of top managers at big corporations. In the US, the median age of readers is now under 40 and Fox believes the European edition is following suit. 'We are broadening its appeal to women and young people,' he says.
1995 Staff writer, American Banker
1996 Writer/reporter, Fortune
1999 European editor, Fortune
DAVID IGNATIUS - Executive Editor, The International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune, which is edited in Paris, now has more than 656,000 readers worldwide after a period of growing circulation - it was up 2.9 per cent in 1999.
The newspaper is owned jointly by The New York Times and The Washington Post, and is printed in 20 cities and available in more than 180 countries around the world. It draws on editing and journalistic resources deployed across five continents, which includes nearly 100 correspondents.
Since September, the man at the helm has been David Ignatius. Ignatius brings strong journalistic credentials to the job. He was formerly the foreign editor on The Washington Post and he supervised its Pulitzer prize-winning coverage of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He has also published five novels.
'As a new editor I have a long list of reasons why I think it is loveable,' he says. 'It's newsy and it is well edited - our brevity is part of our strength - and I hope that it makes you think. The world's conversation about public policy takes place largely on the IHT's opinion pages. It's also fun. It's a real paper, with comics and a sports page. The IHT helps readers with the decisions that matter - from travel to picking stocks to deciding what to see at the theatre.'
Despite this, Ignatius still feels there is work to do. 'We need to break more stories. We need to carefully redesign the paper - preserving its elegance and newsiness, but also giving it a more modern look. We need to carry a great gossip column for the 'global class' that is our readership, and add more coverage of popular culture and do a half-dozen other things that we're busy discussing in the newsroom. But basically we want to keep publishing the great newspaper that readers have come to love and trust,' he says.
1976 Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
1992 Foreign editor, The Washington Post
1993 Deputy managing editor, The Washington Post
2000 Executive editor, The International Herald Tribune
JAMES LEDBETTER - Editor-In-Chief, The Industry Standard Europe
The Industry Standard Europe, which launched on 19 October, is the UK-based European edition of one of the most successful business magazine launches in the US. It bills itself as a weekly news magazine that believes the internet will transform all aspects of the global economy. The US circulation is 200,000 copies a week.
The man behind the European launch is James Ledbetter (right), formerly the founder of the magazine's New York bureau. He is also an author, publishing Made Possible by - the death of public broadcasting in the United States in 1998.
The European edition follows a similar format to the US magazine, with profiles of dotcom start-ups, hard data on financing start-ups, features on the internet strategies of traditional businesses, essays on the cultural effects of net technology and regular round-ups of who's getting (and leaving) which jobs.
'The mix has served us well in the US,' Ledbetter says. He claims that two-thirds of editorial in the European title will be edition-specific.
'Although the magazine takes its subject matter very seriously, we strive to be concise, lively and jargon free. Our typical reader is someone with a strong need for reliable intelligence about the internet economy; the top executives in the fields of technology, finance, media, government, advertising, marketing and retail,' he says.
1990 Staff writer, Village Voice
1998 Founder, New York bureau, The Industry Standard
2000 Editor-in-chief, The Industry Standard Europe
FRED KEMPE - Editor and Associate Publisher, The Wall Street Journal Europe
The Wall Street Journal Europe was founded in 1983. It has a daily circulation of more than 90,000 and is circulated in 50 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Fred Kempe (right) has edited WSJ Europe since 1998. He worked as a reporter on the US edition. He also has a strong academic background - he was a member of the international fellow programme at the School of International Affairs at Columbia University and is also the author of three books, the most recent being Fatherland, a personal search for the new Germany.
'WSJ Europe is the international newspaper for the European businessperson. Our mission is to give our readers the most intelligent, timely and well-written coverage of European and world affairs. We draw from a more extensive network of reporters and editors than any other business newspaper. We serve readers who might live and work in Europe, but who think and act internationally,' he claims.
Kempe believes that recent developments in Europe have played into the hands of WSJ Europe. 'We are well positioned to seize the opportunities that are provided by the new economy and the increasing integration of Europe,' he says.
And he has been active in capitalising on this. As part of a dollars 60 million investment programme, an expanded and redesigned paper hit the streets in February. Additional features included a section on the new economy entitled 'Networking'.
'We also boosted our reporters and editors in Europe by 20 per cent, increased the colour capacity and the number of pages in the publication each day,' he says.
1981 Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
1998 Editor and associate publisher, The Wall Street Journal Europe.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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