The article, available at www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/business/04michaels.html, contained some interesting observations about how Michaels reshaped Forbes' editorial voice. And while I had heard many of them (and more), I think it's worthwhile to hear them again because Michaels' philosophy is ingrained in the Forbes culture.
- He made Forbes opinionated, interpretive and often indecorous, a magazine that was staunchly pro-business (and, its critics said, pro-wealthy) but did not hesitate to skewer companies and executives it saw as failures.
- He often refused to permit articles on topics that other publications had covered, no matter how appealing or important, insisting that his staff find good stories ahead of the competition.
- He strove to make articles shorter and more blunt, with a more clearly stated point of view.
- He belittled the “on the other hand” kind of balance so many publications strive for as mere wishy-washiness.
- Former reporters and editors recall weekly story meetings as a trial by fire, when anyone with a proposal had to be ready to fend off a barrage of harsh questions from the editor.