I predict the new business publication from Conde Nast will last about 18 to 24 months at the most. Called Portfolio, the slick and thick (300 pages) business periodical aims to fill what Editor-In-Chief Joanne Lipman calls ‘white space’ in the business media market.
With information overload at its all-time high and most of us struggling mightily to stay abreast of news and trends, I cannot possibly conceive of any more white space being available. So, how could the powers-that-be at Conde Nast ever think there would be room for a massive newcomer?
Early reviews are, shall we say, less than kind. Truth be told, I haven’t spent time reading all 300 pages, but I can assure Conde Nast that there’s at least one business reader who can’t and won’t attempt to familiarize himself with Portfolio. And, my gut tells me I’ll be the norm in this case, not the exception.
Having provided publicity support for at least four failed magazines I can think of (Shock, Individual Investor, Financial World and Tele.com), I know that content alone isn’t enough to break through in a crowded space. To succeed, Portfolio would have to be dramatically different from The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune and countless others. Instead, it seems from reviews that the text is ‘more of the same.’
As I’ve said in the past, all the publicity and marketing in the world can’t fix a broken model. And, in my mind, Portfolio is dead on arrival. The ‘body’ may linger for a while, but I wouldn’t shift any money in my own portfolio betting on its success.