In late 2009, when he jumped from News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Co. to become president of Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Bascobert said, “I couldn't think of a better time to be joining the company.”
There were those who had their doubts. McGraw-Hill Cos. had just sold Businessweek for a pittance, and the magazine had lost about two-thirds of its ad pages over a decade.
But the past two and a half years have proven Bascobert's words to be prescient as he, Editor Josh Tyrangiel and their teams have transformed Bloomberg Businessweek.
Last year, when publishers were slashing production costs, Bloomberg Businessweek boosted its rate base 8.9%, to 980,000. In the first quarter of this year, the magazine posted 8.2% growth in ad pages, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures.
Last month, the American Society of Magazine Editors nominated Bloomberg Businessweek for three awards. One was for best single-topic issue for the magazine's coverage of the life and death of Steve Jobs. That issue, which contained no advertising, is emblematic of the innovative spirit of Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Our magazine's sensibility is really drawn from the Bloomberg culture of being contrarian and being product- and customer-focused in what we do,” Bascobert said.