Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Back to the Future: True/Slant CEO Lewis DVorkin Moonlighting as Redesign Consultant at Forbes

A weird move that also makes sense: Troubled Forbes Media has brought in Lewis DVorkin, a former editor at the business publisher, as a consultant for a redesign of the Forbes Web site “and other editorial areas.”

That’s a bit weird because DVorkin already has a day job: He’s the founder and CEO of True/Slant, a news network/aggregator/publisher he launched last year.

And it makes sense given that Forbes Media is one of True/Slant’s financial backers. Employees there say COO Tim Forbes has been particularly enamored of True/Slant’s low-cost, high-frequency approach to content generation, so you can read into this move what you will.

DVorkin started showing up at editorial meetings this week, I’m told. I’m also told that both Forbes magazine editor Bill Baldwin and editor Paul Maidment are reporting to him. “All I know is that it means we failed to fix our own problems,” an employee there tells me.

Disclosure: I worked for Forbes for 10 years and worked closely with DVorkin for a couple of those years. He’s smart and a bit scary. His former colleagues at AOL (AOL), where he landed after his stint at Forbes, almost always describe him as “quite a character.”

Reached for comment, DVorkin referred me to a Forbes spokeswoman. But did want me to make clear that he’s still running True/Slant. “I’m the CEO and founder of True/Slant, and we’re having out best month ever.”

Here’s Forbes’s statement:

Lewis DVorkin will be consulting on a redesign of and other editorial areas at Forbes Media.

Though he will be devoting time to this assignment, Mr. DVorkin remains the Chief Executive Officer of True/Slant, an original content news network, which he founded in April 2009. Forbes Media is a strategic investor in True/Slant.

Mr. DVorkin brings to this assignment vast experience in both old and new media platforms and a history with Forbes editorial. He was the Executive Editor at Forbes magazine from December 1996 to April 2000. where he spearheaded that magazine’s redesign, managed the annual Forbes 400 Richest Americans list and created the Celebrity 100 list, both internationally recognized products of Forbes magazine.

During his career Mr. DVorkin was Page One Editor of The Wall Street Journal, a Senior Editor at Newsweek and an editor at the New York Times.

After leaving Forbes, Mr. Dvorkin was Senior Vice President, Programming at AOL, where he was responsible for News, Sports and Network Programming and played a significant role in the launch of

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik