A press release for an "international women's business mag" called Shattered just landed in our inbox, further tempting us to suggest that a business media bubble is forming. (A very small, insignificant bubble, but nonetheless. Business magazines are starting up left and right; Fox wants to launch a business channel, the Observersays it wants to do more biz coverage, and people are even starting commercial business blogs.)
Shattered "will be the first global business magazine for and about women when it debuts mid-June. Shattered is published by Shattered Magazine LLC, a privately held New York City-based publishing firm." Shattered seems to be going after much the same audience Conde Nast's new biz mag, Portfolio, is pursuing. Our analysis, the full press release, and our requisite disclosure after the jump.
While Conde Nast isn't officially labeling Portfolio a "women's business mag," a recent Ad Age article indicates that they expect the readership to be approximately 40% female, which is on the higher-than-average side. (DealBreaker, by comparison, is 82% male.)
Personally, we're a bit skeptical about the biz-mag-for-women strategy, as (A) we're the target demo, and (B) we're pretty sure that what we want out of a biz mag is nearly identical to what our male counterpoints want: information about who's making lots of money, what they did to make it, whether it was illegal/dangerous/morally corrupt/otherwise interesting, whether we can do the same thing, how they're spending the money they made and what kind of power the money they made affords them, who they're sleeping with and whether or not any of the preceding factors affect who they're sleeping with. (Is that everything? Yeah, we think so.)
Frankly, we'd just like to see a better business mag on the market, period. We don't care if the articles are written from a woman's point of view because we're pretty sure assessments of Larry Ellison's narcissism, the secondary market for G-Vs and oil at $70 a barrel are gender-agnostic. (Ron Perelman's bi-annual divorces? Okay, we'll give you that one.) A very occasional article on work/life balance would be nice if we thought much about work-life balance while looking for business news, but we don't. When we do want articles about balance, we want them from lifestyle publications, not business magazines. But then we secretly suspect Portfolio** will be mostly a lifestyle magazine anyway, so it may not matter.
In the interest of full disclosure, Conde Nast called us when we were still at our last job and asked if we'd be interested in working on the (then-unnamed) magazine, and as we were still trying to decide if we wanted to launch DealBreaker, we figured it wouldn't hurt to talk. So we had a meeting with Portfolio Editor in Chief Joanne Lipmann and after talking to her, didn't think it was right for us**** and didn't follow up. And thus, DealBreaker was born. So we're not exactly impartial here.
But if there is a market, it's probably safe to bet on the magazine that's being incubated, focus-grouped, cover-tested and relentlessly prototyped for almost two years by a large media company with excellent distribution and the ability to sell high-end ad packages across multiple titles over, say, an indie startup. That said, the indie startup publishes a financial trade rag, which means it probably knows a thing or two about creating editorial for a hard finance demographic, and Shattered is launching well before the CN mag. This also means, however, that Conde Nast doesn't have much of an excuse to screw up Portfolio, given the lead time, the resources, the buzz, etc., and the added advantage of learning from the editorial mistakes of a much smaller competitor. So we'll be watching.
** We just can't. Be. Bothered. To add that little Dutch currency symbol they inexplicably substitute for the "f."
*** "We" also feel like a complete idiot writing in first person plural in this context, but house style is house style.
**** Upon mentioning that we were the founding editor of Gawker.com, Lipmann said, "Blogs? I don't know why anyone reads them. It's like listening to the crazy guy on the subway rant!" We weren't interviewing for a web-related position, and are not particularly evangelistic about blogging, but took it to be A Bad Sign, Generally, given the bulk of our professional résumé.
Shattered release below:
The Ceiling Is Broken: Introducing Shattered Magazine
~First International Women’s Business Magazine to Debut in June~
New York, NY (June 19, 2006) – Searching through recent issues of mainstream business magazines, you could be forgiven for thinking that the entire universe of women’s business leaders consists of Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina and a few other high-fliers. But that’s about to change with the launch of Shattered, which will be the first global business magazine for and about women when it debuts mid-June. Shattered is published by Shattered Magazine LLC, a privately held New York City-based publishing firm.
“Coverage of women in business tends to focus on a few female corporate superstars or the difficulties women face in juggling career and family,” said Shattered publisher and editor-in-chief Julie Ros. “There are no titles that portray successful women in business as the norm. Shattered is that magazine.”
Shattered is the first business magazine to launch with global distribution. Through a network that includes banks and investment banks, professional women’s associations, and Ivy League universities and business schools in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa and elsewhere, the magazine will debut with an affluent, highly educated readership of 75,000. Following the June launch, Shattered will publish monthly (10 times per year) from September 2006.
Shattered signed on an impressive list of charter advertisers from a broad array of industries, as well as several high-profile corporate partners, including Lehman Brothers and UBS, among others.
Shattered will promote a culture of high aspiration for women by providing news and information across a range of global businesses, from banking and finance, to science, technology, law, industry, media and the arts. Shattered will be the forum for women’s opinions and views on their industries and businesses, serving to help transform the world of commerce. Complementing coverage of the business world will be Shattered’s lifestyle sections, tailored for the particular tastes of the professional woman.
The first cover of Shattered magazine features Nicola Horlick, the innovative fund manager behind Bramdean Asset Management and a new wealth management division for affluent women, Bramdiva. In the first issue, guest editor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend explains how she hopes Shattered will help inspire women to support, help, mentor, encourage, and celebrate women doing well.
Readers of Shattered will find the type of substantative, hard-hitting content they’ve come to expect from magazines like BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune – only from a women’s perspective. Features in the June issue of Shattered include:
Intellectual Property in China: Before it becomes the global heavyweight everyone expects, China will have to significantly strengthen its intellectual property protections. In the meantime, Shattered shows you how to develop an IP strategy when dealing with the Red Giant.
Helping Millions Help Themselves: Maria Otero, president and CEO of Acción International, explains how microfinance loans are revolutionizing the fight against global poverty.
Combinations that Work: Lyne and Byron Pitts, who work for rival news organizations NBC and CBS, respectively, talk about how they maintain the work-life balance.
Forget Fast Food: Shattered says hiring a personal chef will improve your health and relieve your stress.
Plus: Shattered launches a competition to find its “Investor of the Year”. Twelve female business leaders will be given a theoretical $10,000 to invest in a portfolio of stocks over the next year. Shattered will follow the contenders in subsequent issues and award the woman with the highest “cash” total at the end of the year with $12,000 to donate to her favorite charity. The contest will be sponsored by Barclays Wealth Management.
Shattered magazine was conceived by veteran business journalist and entrepreneur Julie Ros. Ros is the founder, controlling director and editor-in chief of both New York-based Shattered Magazine LLC, and of London-based P&L Services Ltd., which has been publishing magazines specializing in the foreign exchange, trading and processing industries since 1999. P&L also hosts exclusive conferences and events on the Foreign Exchange Industry through the Forex Network series. The flagship publication is Profit & Loss: in the currency and derivatives markets. Ros founded Shattered Magazine LLC in November 2005.
“Shattered will focus on successful women across industries worldwide,” said Ros. “The experts we interview will be women. The articles will largely be written by women. Our readers – who we hope will include men as well – will get a fresh take on the latest business trends and developments across a variety of industries from women sitting at the top of their industry.”
Along with an experienced roster of business journalists, Shattered magazine also debuts with an esteemed list of editorial contributors, including:
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lt. Governor, Maryland
Nicola Horlick, CEO of Bramdean Asset Management
Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, MD, MSc, PhD, Director, Women’s Health and Gender-Based Research, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Blythe McGarvie, President and Founder of LIF Group
“Our initial readership consists of some of the most influential and powerful women in the world,” said Ros. “We’re confident that this will serve as a building block for further expansion of our magazine and our brand"