Times Says Fast Company Is Done

from New York Times: When the Meredith Corporation announced its purchase of Gruner & Jahr’s women’s magazines last Tuesday, Meredith said that Gruner’s business magazines, Fast Company and Inc., were not “material” to the sale. What that means is that two magazines that sold for more than half a billion dollars four years ago now have a value of zero.
As it flees toward its exit from a billion-dollar experiment gone horribly wrong, Gruner & Jahr, a division of the German media giant Bertelsmann, may salvage a few dollars, if not its dignity, by selling Inc. But Fast Company, always more of an idea than an actual magazine, is probably gone for good.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. End of an error

    Ad Pulp reports that Fast Company, a magazine that always worked better in theory rather than practice, my be done for.
    I’ll always remember those late-90s issues, so filled with ads they made Vogue look like a pamphlet. I’ve always tried to enjoy Fa…

  2. I’m hoping that the bleak conclusion the Times is forecasting ends up being inaccurate.
    Fast Company was a great magazine the first 3-4 years of its existence and then it went downhill when issues were 200+ pages long and the content became all about *hip and new*, but lacking substance. The Brand You concept was great, but that became their one selling point when the content faded into genericism.
    Lately they seemed to be getting better, but it still lacked the punch of the early days. Not that I can lay blame with them of course, reinvention on a monthly basis is a difficult endeavor.

  3. I remember buying “The Brand Called You” hook, line and sinker.
    Yet, it’s that type of fervent preaching that mainstream journalists are openly scoffing at today. I guess it’s one thing to have a Tom Peters’ article in your rag, and quite another to adopt the mantra from that article as your own.

  4. When I was Art Director at Utah Business magazine, Fast Times was everything our team aspired to be. I have back issues filed in my library. It was beautiful and smart.
    This is the perfect example of the view that someone can take something that is very successful, change it (cheapen it) and it will still be successful.
    Those guys deserve to lose their dough. Formulas are for bartenders.

  5. John A. Byrne, editor of Fast Company, fights back.