What the First Bloomberg BusinessWeek Says About Others, Itself

The first issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek landed in news stands today. What is it like?

First, the logo: “Bloomberg” is tucked discreetly between the the “B” and “i” in “Business.”

The front of the book runs about 30 pages, and offers short write-ups on the Fed, GM, and “What Lurks on the Books of Banks.”

The cover story is headlined “Dubai: Why It’s No Mirage,” but the cover image—shadowy figures wandering a barf-hued landscape—does not bolster this apparent optimism. Inside (“Why Dubai Matters“), the ambivalence continues. “To-be-sure”-type disclaimers abound:

– “The humiliating debt implosion aside, the emirate remains the most dynamic business hub in the Gulf”

– “There’s no denying that the emirate overreached and will pay a hefty price”

– “Dubai’s leadership has doubtless mishandled the recent turmoil”

– “Part of the problem is that while Dubai is more open than its neighbors, it’s no Jeffersonian democracy.”

A summary of “Dubai’s Crazy Quilt of Assets” follows the discussion of its economic model.

Next up, a look at AOL and its new CEO Tim Armstrong, accompanied by a photo of Tim Armstrong managing simulantaneously to lounge and look assertive.

Can This Man Save AOL?” asks the headline. The implication seems to be that if any man can save AOL, it is a man with razor-sharp cheekbones. And youth, and high school football injuries, we learn as we proceed to the article.

Armstrong has become a student of corporate turnarounds. A favorite case study: Apple’s resurrection. He asks employees to read a 1996 BusinessWeek cover story about Apple headlined “The Fall of an American Idol,” a dour view of the company before Steve jobs’ return.

Subtext: But what of Businessweek‘s own resurrection?

Armstrong sees the path to Apple-style success in expanding AOL’s content (“hyperlocal” news, for example), regaining its share of the email market, and selling ads that offer quality over quantity.

Also, he is an “imposing six-foot-four.”

“Beware Social Media Snake Oil,” cautions the next feature. Facebook, Twitter, and their ilk represent “a tantalizing opportunity”—but they come with both benefits and risks.

Then, after a “Special Advertising Feature” on single-malt whisky, we proceed to “What’s Next,” which includes “Philanthropy the Microsoft Way,” South Korean family-based conglomerates, and the “Latest Management Fad” from India. The “Personal Business” pages, which follow, are pale blue and involve many charts.

The magazine concludes with “Business Views”—letters, “Tech & You,” and a holiday book review. Have you heard about this Andrew Ross Sorkin guy? What the First Bloomberg BusinessWeek Says About Others, Itself