11:12 am Jun. 4, 2012
A sidebar accompanying this week's New York magazine article about Mayor Bloomberg's media empire contained an eye-popping number:
In October 2009, he approved the decision to pay $5 million to acquire Businessweek from McGraw-Hill. Financially, the title was a mess—executives said it may have been losing in excess of $40 million a year, a number that scared off other bidders, including Donald Trump.
The magazine's projected shortfall this year? $18 million, New York's Gabe Sherman confirmed. So clearly the revamped title has narrowed its losses considerably under editor-in-chief Josh Tyrangiel.
But the gulf they've crossed is actually a lot wider than $22 million.
During a chat at the Columbia Journalism School back in March, Tyrangiel said Businessweek was in fact on track to lose $62 million in 2009—which means it will have stanched the red ink by a whopping $44 million by the end of 2012.
"The magazine was losing more than $60 million a year at the time of the acquisition," a Bloomberg LP spokesperson told Capital when asked about the numbers. "In the years we've owned the magazine, we've cut annual losses by two thirds, and are on a multiyear path to profitability."
(We could spend the rest of the day trying to figure out how you spend $18 million, let alone lose it.)