Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Back to the Future: Financial Times Launching “Wealth” Magazine

gordongeckocellDoes the economic turmoil have you pinching pennies and clipping coupons? Then the newest product from the Financial Times isn’t for you: The daily’s new quarterly magazine is aimed at people worth more than $1.6 million.

Oh. And don’t bother counting your home in that total. FT Wealth is for people of real means. The kind who are still “liquid,” as Gordon Gekko put it.

In other words, the kind of people who might want to read about “whisky as an alternative investment, Muslim philanthropy, how the downturn is affecting the lifestyle of America’s rich kids and expensive sports.” All of which are on tap for the supplement’s October issue, which will reach 100,000 of the newspaper’s U.S. subscribers.

If you’re a down-on-your-heels skeptic with no imagination, you could note that the kinds of advertisers that are supposed to keep a supplement like that afloat have had a rough go of it in the recent past. So have high-end financial magazines (Portfolio, RIP).

Big-thinking optimist? Then you’ll note that Fortune magazine launched in the Great Depression, and that ended up working out pretty well for the company that’s now Time Warner (TWX).

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald