Friday, March 02, 2007

Damn you, Shanghai

The volatility set off by the Chinese markets rippled on through to the cover of the upcoming issue of Barron’s, and according to my editor, has knocked the online broker review off the front page.

Sigh.

I’d been told early on that the story had a 75% chance of getting back on the cover.  (It was the cover story for the first 9 years, and got bumped inside the last 2 years.) Last week I was told that it was definitely the cover story.  Then yesterday, I got this email:

"I wanted to let you know that in light of Tuesday’s meltdown and the subsequent volatility, the editor decided to bump the Online Broker feature off the cover for a story now being reported about what readers should do in the aftermath. I know you wanted the cover and worked very hard on this, but I’m afraid the market just didn’t cooperate this week. It’s still getting cover treatment inside with a special opening page, etc. And it will get lots of free play on Barron’s online. Again, I’m sorry but the news just overwhelmed it this week. “

My response was, “Thinking a little more ... why not give the market gyrations ‘cover treatment’ but still go with the broker story?  Every publication in the known universe is going to beat the Chinese bounce to death.  Barron’s could be different.  There was a time when the online broker story was the biggest seller on the newsstands all year.  My feeling is that this year is another opportunity for huge newsstand sales.  I’m sad to see Barron’s squander that for a story that is being told everywhere.”

I doubt my plea changed their minds, but it was worth a shot. 

In the meantime, one of the brokers I talk with regularly sent me an email he got from the sales side, pushing him to order reprints now.  The graphic included with the email was the cover of the 2004 issue that contained the broker story—the last time it was on the cover.  The graphic shows a smiling cell phone holding a wad of cash.  The copy of the sales promotion says, cheerfully, “Just wanted to remind you that our Best Online Brokers issue comes out March 5!  Attached is our 2007 reprint order form.  You may have done even better than last year’s ranking!”

I know I’m being a whiner, and there are a lot of other problems in the world bigger than mine and so on and so forth, but I’m still selfishly very disappointed.  Guess I’m human after all.

Sigh. 

Posted by twcarey on 03/02 at 11:35 AM
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