Friday, January 16, 2009

Magazine News: Forbes Goes to Sofia

Boasting a launch circulation (estimate) of 30,000, the venerable American business magazine Forbes will begin publication of a Bulgarian edition in October of this year.

"What?" you say. Why is a print publication expanding in a global financial/economic crisis? Because global licensing of American publications is a booming business, one that keeps money flowing into U.S. publishers' coffers even when domestic ad revenue is flagging. Playboy, for example, has been struggling in the United States (especially since the Reagan administration helped target its advertisers and distributors, a hit from which I think the magazine has never recovered). It now publishes dozens of foreign editions, recently adding Lithuania to the mix. And you can find horror magazine Fangoria in Hungary, Esquire in China, or Hello magazine in Thailand. If you've got a brand, make it global, and let someone else do all the work of translating and gathering capital to float the magazine. All in all, can't see a reason not to do it.

Now, no one doubts that Thai readers want juicy celebrity news or that Lithuanian readers want stories of success and beauty. But are Bulgarians really eager for American business acumen right now?

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