Excitement For BusinessWeek Deal At MPA Conference

Yesterday, we spent a few hours at the Magazine Publishers of America’s Magazine Innovation Summit. In between panels and interviews like The New York Times‘ David Carr’s Q&A with Ken Auletta of The New Yorker (right), we got a chance to catch up with some of New York media’s movers and shakers and pick their brains.

First, we asked Carr what he thought of Bloomberg LP’s acquisition of BusinessWeek. The media columnist was practically giddy with excitement. “It’s great news for people like you and me,” Carr told us, complaining that the media industry has been sorely lacking in fun deals to report on. “I couldn’t help but get involved in Stephanie’s story,” he said referring to the article about the deal he co-bylined with Stephanie Clifford for the Times yesterday.

Carr’s excitement was mirrored by BusinessWeek.com’s John Byrne, who interviewed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings after lunch.

“There was a little activity at BusinessWeek this morning,” Byrne said. He then went on to say how happy he was to be going to work for Bloomberg, remarking that it was a “great place” for the business magazine to be.

Other highlights included much talk about the future of magazines, which included a possible “Hulu for magazines” or a “Netflix for magazines,” like Time Inc.’s Maghound, which allows users to subscribe to three to seven magazines at a time and vary specific titles from month to month.

On an afternoon panel, Time Inc. executive vice president John Squires called Maghound “a smart idea that needs more support from our industry.”

Squires sat on a panel focusing on paid content moderated by former Time editor Walter Isaacson also featuring former Huffington Post CEO Betsy Morgan, eMusic CEO Daniel Stein and Matt Mankins, CEO of content provider in-a-moon.

Besides Maghound, other topics discussed were how magazines will have to develop content as color e-readers are introduced, a possible consortium between newspapers on the horizon and news aggregators like HuffPost. Morgan, who left the Huffington Post earlier this year, said she believed an announcement about a consortium or partnership of some sort — or more than one — would be made before the end of the year.

We also got a chance to catch up with Morgan after the panel and ask her what she’s been up to. She told us she took the summer off and has just recently returned to New York. She’s looking for a new challenge and said she was excited by all the possibilities and new projects going on in the industry. “It’s an exciting time for the industry with everything so much in transition,” she said.

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