The History of Business Week Magazine

Business Week is a magazine that is currently published under the name Bloomberg Businessweek, after a recent merger, and is a publication that is familiar to many people, having been coming to homes and businesses weekly since 1929. Bloomberg Businessweek was first published in September of 1929, just a few weeks before the stock market crashed and now, has a circulation of nearly a million, and competes with the only other major business magazine available on the market – Forbes Magazine, a bi-weekly business publication.

When BusinessWeek first began, they covered marketing and finance, labor and management, but were the first of the time to begin reporting on political issues that affected American businessmen. The magazine also published a list of executives and the pay that they receive, a tradition that started in 1950. While Forbes and Bloomberg Businessweek compete for readership among businessmen and women and those interested in the financial world, BusinessWeek concentrates much more heavily on the economy than Forbes does, and in fact, published a thermometer on the cover from the 1930′s to 1961 that gauged how well the economy of the United States was doing.

BusinessWeek has had trouble itself in the recent economy due to a lack of advertising with print magazine sale revenues being cut in half. Previously $120 million to around $60 million in the last few years, and the move to the digital form hasn’t had the effect the editors had hoped either, with the current online revenues only approaching around $20 and a half million. In 2009, reports began to appear with the news that McGraw-Hill was interested in selling BusinessWeek. They hired Evercore Partners to handle the sale, and a common suggestion at the time was that they might sell the magazine for a dollar because of all the liabilities the publication had.

Bloomberg announced that it had acquired the magazine on October 13th, 2009, and while the figure was reported to be around $5 million dollars, but the actual sale price wasn’t disclosed. December 1st, 2009, the deal was closed and the name Bloomberg was added to the magazine’s cover.