More shrinkage at Time Inc: The New York Post’s Keith Kelly reports the company has fired almost all of the staff of Fortune Small Business. We’ve since heard from Diana Sousa, who heads up PR at for the Fortune/Money Group, who says much of Keith’s report was wrong. Keith’s report, with notes from Diana in bold.
Known by the initials FSB, the magazine is axing 14 of its 17 editorial staffers, including its editor Dan Goodgame, a 10-year veteran of Time Inc. Diana says Dan wasn’t fired and left on his own; he started at Time Inc in 1984. Dan’s #2, Brian Dumaine, stays on and will oversee editorial. Two of the existing staff are being moved to CNNMoney.com. That leaves 13 more, who are meeting with HR now. Some will get to reapply for new jobs, and some won’t. So there will be headcount reduction.
FSB was run essentially as a custom-published magazine for small business holders of American Express cards Diana strenuously denies but because it had controlled (in other words, free) circulation of around 1 million, it was considered a lucrative add-on to the main magazine for ad-sales purposes.
And though it was carried under the Fortune/Money Group umbrella, it was conspicuously left off the CNNMoney.com Web site when that was revamped a year ago. That raised concerns then that FSB’s editorial staff were being given second-class citizen status. Still on the CNN/Money site, Diana points out.
Confirmation of that came yesterday.
Now the magazine will be part of Time Inc.’s Content Solutions division, and operate as an advertising vehicle. Nope. The magazine will pull freelance writers and other contractors from Content Solutions, but remains a standalone unit. Brian Dumaine reports to Fortune editor Andy Serwer.
Unpleasant for those involved, but not a huge shock: The industry trade group MPA says sales at the title were down 14.3% through the first half of the year; ad pages were down 11%. Then again, no one’s really knocking the cover off the ball in the business mag market this year. Fortune has eked out a 4.1% gain so far, which is huge compared to its competitors: Forbes is down 7.3%, while Business Week is down 11.3%. (And before we get any angry emails from Portfolio partisans — your 117% gain from last year doesn’t count, since you weren’t publishing in the first quarter of 2007).