"BusinessWeek’s" New Look Is 21st-Century Global.

10/08/2007

This Thursday (October 11), BW president (since May 2007) Keith Fox, editor-in-chief (since December 2004) Steve Adler, and art director (since January 2007) Andrew Horton will unveil the "relaunched" (Fox’s words) October 22 issue at a reception in New York’s Guastavino’s. Most visible is the first logo change since October 17, 1994, which 1984-2005 editor-in-chief Steve Shepard implemented to mark BW‘s 65th anniversary (min, October 3, 1994).

New logo blends in with Horton’s layouts, but another reason for the change, says Fox, is the elimination of the blue rule under BusinessWeek. "Our readers are increasingly international, and with red, white, and blue in the 
logo, there were many in our research who thought of us as ‘too American.’ I know that is subtle for Americans, but that is a fact overseas." (Even in France, we presume, in spite of the bleu, blanc, et rouge tricolor.)

Internationalization continues in the news well, where domestic and foreign stories are no longer separated. More significant and noticeable is the front-of-the-book placement and expansion of what was the two-page The BusinessWeek synopsis. "This is a key reference to articles that may be in our issue, past issues, BW.COM, or in other publications," says Adler, who began developing the new look 18 months ago. "We believe that is an important component to readers who can use The BusinessWeek as the stepping stone to in-depth reporting. In today’s busy world, we keep readers with limited free time thoroughly informed." The often offbeat copy that highlighted the former Up Front lead department is being shifted to What’s Next.

"Exiled" to the back-of-the-book, with other Opinion columnists (except the now-weekly Maria Bartiromo’s "Newsmaker" interview in The BusinessWeek), is MediaCentric‘s Jon Fine. The Advertising Age alumnus tells min that he is getting a fair deal, "because I’ll get more copy on my  page." Jack and Suzy Welch’s Dear Abby-like business advice remains on the back page.

As is customary in overhauls, Adler and Fox say that BW‘s was necessitated by evolution, not the outside competition that now includes Condé Nast Portfolio. Now, they wait and see if readers and advertisers will embrace this form of magazine "Darwinism."