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Forbes is an American business magazine largely owned by the Hong Kong investment firm Integrated Whale Media Investments. Prior to its sale in 2014, it had been run by the Forbes family since its founding in 1917.
Forbes has been known as a financially conservative, pro-business publication geared toward higher-end business professionals. The magazine is part of Forbes Media, a company that includes Forbes.com, the freelance publishing site True/Slant, the investing reference site Investopedia, and a majority stake in the aggregation sites RealClearPolitics, RealClearMarkets, and RealClearSports. Forbes Media sold a majority stake to Integrated Whale in a deal that valued the company at $475 million, with the family retaining a minority stake.
Over the past several years, Forbes’ circulation has been steady at about 900,000, though its ad pages have dropped significantly. The magazine laid off about 100 employees in 2008 and 2009. In late 2008, Forbes merged its print and online operations.
In 2010, Forbes.com hired True/Slant’s Lewis Dvorkin as chief product officer and shortly thereafter after acquired (and shuttered) True/Slant. Dvorkin would go on to integrate much of True/Slant’s technology and ethos into Forbes’ online presence, including some veteran True/Slant writers. One of the hallmarks of this strategy was strong “brands” associated with each individual author, more than 1,000 of whom had written for the site by early 2012. The site had 400 current paid freelance contributors as of 2014. The site’s audience doubled from 2011 to 2012, reaching 30 million monthly unique visitors, though its revenue increased more slowly because of its heavy dependence on online ads. Its model has been held up as a prototype for online news media and also criticized as a home of user-generated puff pieces, rather than serious journalism.
In 2013, Forbes launched SafeSource, a system based on Tor designed to allow people to leak information securely.
In April 2010, it attempted to hire unpaid media bloggers.
The Awl is a New York-based blog that covers media, culture, and politics. The site was founded in April 2009 by ex-Gawker writers Choire Sicha and Alex Balk and former Radar employee David Cho. The site has an irreverent tone similar to Gawker’s, though at its launch, it was intended as an alternative to Gawker’s…