Does corporate stupidity know no bounds? Recently, AOL
Time-Warner purchased Business 2.0, one of those
hype-filled new economy rags, to add to its already
overgrown, festering pile of fly-fattening media
O.K. AOL Time Warner buys magazines: it's what its acquisition department is
paid to do, I guess. Nothing wrong with world domination, if you're the
small-minded weaselly-type actually into that sort of power trip I guess.
Furthermore, AOL seems to be ditching the entire staff of Business
2.0. Apparently the only thing about Business 2.0 worth keeping
is its name and subscriber list. This, I can understand too. Sometimes you
have to buy an entire wrecked automobile outright just to score a few choice
replacement parts for your own ride. So you salvage the carb, the
transmission, a tire or two and dump what's left off on some backroad for
the government to properly dispose of. Which is in effect what AOL is doing
to Business 2.0. And it's displaying a perfectible respectable sense
of junkyard logic in doing so.
But here's what gets me: AOL is replacing the Business 2.0 staff with
the staff from its own hype-filled new economy rag, eCompany Now,
which it is shelving. Now think hard about this for a second: it is buying a
magazine that, by its own account, has built up a subscriber list worth
purchasing, and replacing the staff of that magazine (who did the work to
build up that samesaid readership) with a staff that has failed to
produce similarly successful magazine.
So that is the AOL-Time Warner strategy for media monopoly? Buy a successful
magazine and replace it with an unsuccesful one???
Yeah, I know that if Business 2.0 were truly successful it wouldn't
be sold at spare-part prices to AOL. But it still would have to have had
been more successful than eCompany Now, otherwise, the Business
2.0 subscriber list would have been folded into eCompany's, not the
other way around. Good thinking!
So what next? Maybe they could buy the rights to Budweiser and have the
people who made Zima run operations. Or even better, they could buy the
producer of the world's most-used browser and have it run by a bunch of East
Coast flunkies who thought the Web would never take off. Oh wait, they did