media metamorphoses

The New Bloomberg Businessweek: More Color, More Pages, and Soon, More Celebrity Writers

We just got our hands on a copy of the new Bloomberg Businessweek, and the redesign, at first glance, looks pretty substantial. The magazine is bigger, more thoughtfully organized, and does have a different look to it: but it’s not an entirely different title than the one you know. It’s still sort of the same outfit as the old Business Week, with the sleeves let out to compensate for the size of Bloomberg’s bulging reporting and financial muscles. Here’s what’s new:

The sections: Everything before the feature well is divided into six color-coded sections (and there’s a helpful index page which will lead you to key terms throughout the issue). The “Opening Remarks” section, which Josh Tyrangiel explains in his editor’s letter is “a richly reported essay on one of the week’s most important stories” (this week it’s on Goldman Sachs and how it won’t be cowed by the “theater of aggressive reform” in Washington), will likely be the cover piece from time to time.

Then the rest of the short, Economist-style pieces are divided into sections called “Global Economics,” “Policy & Politics,” “Markets & Finance,” “Companies & Industries,” “Technology,” and “Enterprise.” These are almost entirely supplied by Bloomberg’s massive host of reporters. The feature well looks pretty similar, though deeper (and it’s set to expand), and there’s a new “Etc” section in the rear that features more lighthearted workplace and consumer pieces.

The Staff: Looks like Tyrangiel has beefed up his staff with a number of contributors from the now-defunct Portfolio. We spotted Sheelah Kolhatkar’s name on the masthead, and Karl Taro Greenfield’s byline in the feature well, as well as a column by Michael Lewis — who is among the first in a wave of high-profile writers we hear the magazine is courting. But the Journal reports that as of now, there are only three full-time staff writers based here in New York.

The Look: First things first, the cover now has “Bloomberg Businessweek” on it in all the same size font, with teaser boxes across the top of the page. Inside, there’s more color and a lot of text — though the layout is slightly different, at least that feels somewhat the same between the two versions. Creative director Richard Turley came onboard from the Guardian and the use of color and sense of momentum will ring a bell to readers of the London paper. There are also surprises littered through the text, like tiny “Bottom Line” summaries at the end of dense news items.

The Size: It’s bigger. According to The Wall Street Journal, there will be a minimum 66 news pages each issue, where there used to be about 55. As a result, combined with increased ad pages, the magazine feels significantly heftier.

The New Bloomberg Businessweek: More Color, More Pages, and Soon, More Celebrity Writers