Thursday, December 26, 2002

The New Yorker's $1.2 Million "Profit."

I'm with Kaus on this. First of all, it's almost certainly not true. Second, isn't that what a magazine is supposed to do (turn a profit)?

The idea of throwing a party at which everyone is required to wear black because the magazine is "in the black" is silly. Does Microsoft have a party because they are profitable? Does People Magazine get down because they are in the black? Of course not. Profitability is a given or a near-term goal at any serious business institution. It enables things like benefits for employees and dividends for shareholders. Duh.

The more interesting question is this: Why are the folks at Conde Nast misrepresenting The New Yorker's financial position? Everyone assumes that it loses between $1 million and $2 million a month, as it has year after year since Conde Nast bought it from the Fleischmans. Why, in the midst of the worst ad recesssion that anyone can remember, is Conde Nast suddenly throwing "in the black" parties and insisting that The New Yorker is a money machine?