When The Deal switched from a tabloid to a magazine-size format in February 2007, it also made some changes inside the book. It added more white space for a cleaner look and grouped together the magazine's existing columns in the back of the book rather than the front.
But there were no wholesale changes, said Robert M. Clark, COO-publisher. “We've built our content over time,” he said. “You can change your publication to attract advertisers and sell ads against the edit, and that's OK. Or you can build the content and ask advertisers to come in and say, "Whatever you're looking for, we can deliver the content.' “
The formula appears to be working. Along with the change in format, The Deal boosted its circulation to 50,000, from 42,000, last June. Combining pass-along from the magazine, online readership and event attendance, The Deal LLC reaches about 200,000 professionals who work in corporations and the financial sector. The magazine has a hybrid model consisting of 10% paid circulation and 90% controlled circulation.
The Deal is bucking the general downward trend in advertising among business-oriented publications. Ad pages grew 10% last year to 721, from 656 in 2006. Ad pages are expected to grow 9% through the first half of 2008. Recent additions to the ranks of The Deal's advertisers include CIT Group, Credit Suisse and the New York Stock Exchange.
The Deal, a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Equity Partners, a fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., originated as The Daily Deal in 1999, along with an accompanying Web site. The Deal started as a newsweekly in November 2002.
The magazine drills down into such topics as mergers and acquisitions, private equity, bankruptcy and venture capital. Its regular coverage includes such volatile industries as energy, health care and technology.
Lately the publication has beefed up coverage of corporate governance, hedge funds and risk arbitrage to reflect the current market environment.
“We compete with the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, and we see the same things they see,” Clark said. “But our job is to get up and under [the story] rather than give you a news flash.” M