The second-largest US business and finance magazine, Forbes, prides
itself on a shoot-from-the-hip approach to covering free-market
In late September, the New York-based company announced plans to launch
Forbes Global Business & Finance, an international version of the
publication, in the spring of next year.
Although its arrival comes years after its sister publication, Forbes’
executives believe they have chosen the right time to go global. Steve
Rau, advertising director of Forbes Global, says: ’There’s a new
attitude outside the US - communism is in recession and a
pro-capitalism, free-market attitude prevails.’
With a circulation of 782,000, Forbes remains one of the last big-name
independently-owned magazines in the US, unlike its two competitors.
Fortune, a bi-weekly magazine, is part of Time Inc. and counts 762,000
subscribers, while Business Week is owned by McGraw Hill and counts
Bill Flatley, vice-president of sales for Forbes in the US, explains
that it has led the field in terms of ad pages since 1992. ’It looks as
if we will be top again this year,’ says Flatley, citing the fact that
the magazine is pacing about 10 per cent ahead of 1996 numbers at 3,016
pages through September.
Flatley identifies two reasons for this. ’Our subscribers are loyal in
terms of fees and commitment,’ he says. ’Plus, we simply do a better job
writing about issues of interest to the decision makers: who’s winning,
who’s losing and why.’
Forbes generated 4,548 ad pages in 1996, ahead of Business Week’s 3,884
pages and Fortune’s 3,336 pages. However, Business Week is the market
leader in terms of revenue, generating dollars 298 million compared with
Forbes’ dollars 222 million and Fortune’s dollars 198 million. Declining
to identify Forbes’ ratecard, Flatley claims it is the least expensive
magazine: ’It is the lowest out-of-pocket cost in this category.’
Forbes Global has a modest target circulation of 50,000 paid
But Rau expects that number to grow quickly, since the magazine is
starting from a lower base than Fortune or Business Week, which have
international circulations of 128,000 or 156,000 respectively. ’We know
from research that there’s a strong demand for us out there,’ he
To date, one advertiser has signed up: Turespana, which will run an
8-page supplement in the inaugural April 6, 2998 issue.
Published by Forbes Inc.
Paid circulation 782,796 *
1996 ad revenue dollars 222, 446, 993
1996 ad pages 4,548
* to June 30 1997. Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations.