Forbes Media Gets A Slasher


Elevation Partners’s Roger McNamee will step down from Forbes Media’s board, switching seats with Elevation’s Bre Pearlman. The reasoning is that while Roger is good at building things, Bre is better at slashing them — and that’s what Forbes needs right now.

Roger wrote the New York Post an email to explain:

The deterioration in the advertising market late last year caused Forbes and Elevation to agree that we could no longer count on to offset declines in print. We agreed to a strategy shift from investment in the Web to aggressive cost cutting.”

When we invested, we were convinced that online advertising could more than outperform any decline in print. That view has proved to be wrong for reasons that are no fault of Forbes.

It’s clear that Forbes will take longer to succeed than we had originally hoped, but that is true of every investment in America. The market is down 50 per cent in 18 months. The value of Forbes is certainly not down any more than that.

Elevation Partners spent between $250 million and $300 million for a 40% stake in Forbes in 2006.

Besides layoffs, Forbes Media has also cut costs by eliminating 401k matching and forcing reporters into 5-day furloughs.


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