Women’s Wear Daily
04.16.2014
fashion-memopad
fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: Filling a Gap... Fear Itself... New Head...

Portfolio.com has tapped Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch, as a Web consultant for the next few months.

fashion-memopad/news
FILLING A GAP: Portfolio.com has tapped Larry Kramer, founder of MarketWatch, as a Web consultant for the next few months. David Carey, group president and publishing director, said Kramer will work with portfolio.com, which had more than one million unique visitors this month (according to internal data), to look into new ideas and help with plans for the site heading into next year. The Web site was apparently in talks with Kramer for the consultant position before portfolio.com managing editor Chris Jones said he was leaving.

After attending the American Magazine Conference on Monday, Carey was on hand at the Future of Business Media conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Tuesday. He was part of a panel discussion, which had moderator Rafat Ali, editor and publisher of ContentNext Media, sticking up for Portfolio — sort of. “I actually like Portfolio — I know it’s not fashionable to say,” Ali confessed.

Carey said a lot has been said in the media about the departures at Portfolio, but he claimed the eight staffers who’ve left during the past 18 months — out of about 90 total editorial staffers — represents the lowest attrition rate for a launch at Condé Nast. He said there has been circulation success, adding that business schools are calling and asking for copies of the magazine. And when asked how long the publication has to succeed, Carey said the time frame at Condé Nast is usually a decade. “Some of our greatest competition is in the Condé Nast building,” Carey admitted, without, of course, naming names. — Amy Wicks

FEAR ITSELF: It was hard to see Eileen Naughton’s return to the American Magazine Conference — which she had chaired in 2004, a year before she was laid off as president of Time magazine — as anything but triumphant. Now the director of media platforms at Google, Naughton walked the audience through the fundamentals of Google’s ad strategy and invited them to “liberate their content,” pointing out that, by the end of 2005, more Americans were searching for blogs than for magazine content.

Plotting major sites along a long tail in the Chris Anderson mode, she urged magazine executives to find their place a little closer to that tail’s head. A few successful sites were singled out — forbes.com, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s sites, TheKnot.com and Condé Nast’s Epicurious. (Time Inc. sites were absent from the list). But even as she praised Epicurious, Naughton emphasized its traffic “wasn’t going to blow any doors off.” Naughton had more praise for Glam.com, which she said had become “an advertising mecca” by, among other strategies, repackaging content from partners such as Hearst, without the magazine editors’ intervention.
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