Reuters considers magazine after producing issue for Davos

Reuters is seriously considering getting into the magazine business after producing a slick, 64-page proof-of-concept issue for next week’s World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Reuters printed 5,000 copies for Davos and another 6,000 for clients and others.

Many of the stories are targeted for the Davos crowd; others are more general, such as Jack Shafer’s inquiry into the impact of WikiLeaks on global relations, Jonathan Weber’s assessment of Twitter’s business model and David Rohde’s story about the U.S.’s increasing reliance on drone warfare.

Save for a few ads promoting Reuters services, it’s a substantial collection of analysis, photojournalism and infographics.

“I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a print product in our future,” said Jim Impoco, executive editor of Thomson Reuters Digital. “We’re having pretty extensive conversations about it right now.”

They don’t know how often they’d publish or how they’d sell it. But they do have an editorial focus:

“We feel there is an opening for a magazine along these lines, a sophisticated, well-designed magazine that doesn’t dumb down” its financial, business and foreign policy coverage, he said.

Impoco said the magazine was assembled over about two months, starting sometime in October when Editor in Chief Stephen Adler posed the idea to him. “We just then sprinted for two months.”

Reuters printed 5,000 copies of the magazine for Davos and another 6,000 for clients and others.

Impoco is not new to magazines, having worked at Fortune Magazine and Conde Nast Portfolio.

All the stories and photos were done in-house; the stories were produced specifically for the magazine. Design was handled by Robert Priest and Grace Lee, who have a long history of designing magazines such as GQ, Esquire, Newsweek and O, The Oprah Magazine.

“Steve Adler and Jim Smith and key players at the company seem to be very excited about it,” Impoco said. “We’re sort of making this big consumer-facing push, and what better to hit people with than a lush magazine that you can sort of cuddle up with?”

But, Impoco said, “Let’s keep it in perspective … We are digital natives. We believe in electronic news. Every day we do the happy dance because we don’t have a legacy product dragging us down. … We are afforded the luxury of trying something like this.”

There’s one thing the magazine isn’t: the “first-ever” Reuters magazine. A previous version was discontinued at some point, which Impoco said he just learned on Wednesday.

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