lunedì 13 dicembre 2010

One of the most venerable and respected magazines in the business is on its way to its first profit in years, thanks to a new focus on the web.

The Atlantic, the 153-year-old magazine that once published Mark Twain, hadn’t made money in at least a decade. So its managers decided to radically reinvent themselves by focusing more effort on the web.

That strategy has apparently worked. The New York Times reports the Atlantic is on its way to turning a $1.8 million profit this year. That may not seem like huge money. But then again, the magazine had been losing money for a decade. So any profit is pretty good.

“We imagined ourselves as a venture-capital-backed start-up in Silicon Valley whose mission was to attack and disrupt The Atlantic,” Justin B. Smith, president of the Atlantic Media Company, told the Times. “In essence, we brainstormed the question, ‘What would we do if the goal was to aggressively cannibalize ourselves?’ ”

It’s a lesson other media companies may want to take to heart as they face ever-more disruptive competition from the web. Maybe the leaders of the Gray Lady herself should be reading their own paper (or web site), since The New York Times Company was demoted from the S&P 500 last week and is now listed as a mid-cap stock.

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