Friday, January 22, 2010

Small Business May be the Engine of the US Economy But Not According to Bloomberg & Time Warner

First casualty of 2010: the demise of BusinessWeek SmallBiz. According to a post card, SmallBiz's last issue was Dec. 09/Jan. 2010. This development follows closely the demise of Fortune Small Business (FSB).

Survivors include Inc. and Entrepreneur.

It's been commonly acknowledged that small business is the engine of the US economy. But not enough advertisers seem to believe that. Clearly there's not enough support for standalone publications directed at small businesses, at least according to billion-dollar publishers Time Warner and Bloomberg.

Of course, both Fortune and Bloomberg BusinessWeek said they will continue to maintain their respective small business web sites and will now integrate small business coverage into their main print publications. That means there will be less content for and about small business. What was particularly helpful about FSB and BusinessWeek SmallBiz is that they provided service journalism: articles that not only reported on current trends (which will likely continue) but also how-to articles, and it's the latter type of article that won't be included in Fortune and Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

That's a shame because small business owners are time starved but craving information geared just for them. The daily papers can't cover small businesses too closely; the Wall St. Journal and New York Times allocate a page -- about a story or two -- each week.

Of course, there's still Inc. & Entrepreneur. I hope they can pick up the advertising dollars left on the table after the demise of their competitors.

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