12/15/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Jon Friedman Tries To Save Portfolio

Jon Friedman has a video up today in which he proposes that Conde Nast's coffee table collectible for Wall Street middle managers Portfolio is a "good magazine" that can be saved. What does he propose? Beefing up web content? Stay current with financial news? Try to be something other than trivial? Not exactly.

So there you have it! Double down on a creating "killer" cover story, and generate "buzz" at "water coolers." Well, golly. Seems to me that not too long ago, Portfolio was generating mad buzz 'round dem coolers with their cover story on American Apparel's Dov Charney. Naturally, that's the sort of killer cover that'll almost kill you in a world where Wall Street's struggling to rub two nickels together to make a dime.

Friedman touches on more substantive solutions in a companion article, leading off with floating the notion of deposing Joanne Lipman and replacing her with "new blood." ("New blood" in this scenario, apparently means Chris Anderson or David Remnick.) He'd also recommend that "gossip hounds can ease off for a bit and give this troubled magazine an opportunity to find its footing." Because that's what's really holding Portfolio back. As Friedman recalls:

When Portfolio was launched last year, it was promoted with the hoopla of a major motion picture. But who could have suspected that the comparisons would ultimately be such bombs as "Gigli," "Ishtar" and "Heaven's Gate?"

As it turns out, a lot of people suspected it!

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