The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

PERSONAL FINANCE BITES IT
Only days after raving and faving about the magazine, Bloomberg LP announced that it's killing off Bloomberg Personal Finance. Despite a circulation of 400,000--and I'm assuming it was a highly targeted one, since they're about to make some dough off the subscriber list--the ad market and growth options simply were too bleak to keep going.

It's interesting that one reason cited here for the cancellation is the growing consumer distaste for a personal finance-focused magazine, in the wake of the dot-com/stock market decline. If that's the case, then why is newspaper after newspaper beefing up it's own personal finance section, often at the cost of space to more "traditional" (corporate) business news? If this isn't working for the magazine business, is it folly for newspapers to take it on?

Actually... probably not. Newspapers have a different focus than magazines, and personal finance might be a better fit in a daily format, especially if it's part of a the entire newspaper package versus a dedicated publication. If so, it has the potential to save the papers' bacon, in terms of perhaps reversing (or, more realistically, stalling) perpetually declining circulations.

My newspaper of record, the St. Petersburg Times, just recently did this, signifying it by changing the title of the business section from the sensible "Business" to "Money". Lots of other papers have done this over the past couple of years; the groupthink among publishers is showing! I don't care for it; it seems rather phony.It's still business news, and frankly, I think coverage that has a more macroeconomic bent to it is far more interesting than the usual "tips for retirement" crap personal finance consists of. But perhaps, that's just me.