Jon Friedman Saves Portfolio in Under a Minute

In his latest 37-second Media Web Minute (are these things getting shorter?), MarketWatch’s Jon Friedman turns his attention to Condé Nast’s business magazine, Portfolio, which regular readers of Media Mob may know has been having a tough few weeks.

Ever the optimist, Mr. Friedman says, "You know what? It’s still a good magazine and it can survive." (This comes via Jim Romenesko.)

How? According to Mr. Friedman (spoiler alert!), "It needs one thing especially: A killer cover that people can talk about at the water coolers." (Laid off workers have water coolers?)

In his accompanying column, he writes:

When Portfolio was launched last year, it was promoted with the hoopla of a major motion picture. But who could have suspected that the comparisons would ultimately be such bombs as ‘Gigli,’ ‘Ishtar’ and ‘Heaven’s Gate?’

(What, no love for Waterworld?)

Mr. Friedman also offers some counterintuitive journalism fan fic:

If Condé Nast decides to replace founding editor Joanne Lipman, it should look inside its ranks, specifically at two magazines that epitomize the kind of wit (Wired) and pedigree (The New Yorker) that Portfolio desperately aspires to.


Condé could tap a rising star at either magazine to turn around Portfolio. Then again, it could go all out and attempt to lure Wired Editor Chris Anderson, a dedicated amateur musician, to move from his home base in San Francisco by arranging for him to jam on the stage of Madison Square Garden.

Or, the publisher could try to tempt the respected New Yorker Editor David Remnick to come to Portfolio by hiring Bob Dylan to play at his next birthday party and giving Remnick season tickets to the new Yankee Stadium, thereby combining two of his obsessions.

(What, no love for Muhammad Ali?)

Jon Friedman Saves Portfolio in Under a Minute