The view from the 43rd floor office occupied by David Carey, president of Hearst magazines, is majestic. It’s a vantage point that is well-captured and prominently displayed, in photo form, at the top of Shannon Bond’s “Monday Interview” with the executive in the Financial Times, posted online today.
Carey told the reporter that total revenues for Hearst in 2015 rose six percent to $10.7 billion. He also revealed that a third of last year’s profits came from the digital side of operations.
However, if one peers into the full distance of Bond’s article, there is a reminder at the bottom of a rare Carey misstep. A product offering wrapped in the acronym CFG:
In 2011, the publisher unveiled Cosmo For Guys, a subscription iPad App that, as Mr. Carey describes it, “would offer [men] a chance to understand women for only $20 a year.”
After eight months and up to $500,000 in losses, Hearst pulled the plug. “We built a product for one market and only one audience. Now, everything that we do has to be global,” Mr. Carey says.
That’s one way to put it. Another, as FishbowlNY did when the product originally launched, is to compare CFG to the notion of Smucker’s messing with the fine art of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We don’t often gloat, but in this July 21, 2011 case, we called it, right down to these summary final thoughts:
Maybe women will download Cosmo For Guys, but men won’t. Aside from those that make terrible pb&js, that is.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Read Min’s Straight-Faced Review of ‘Cosmo For Guys’
Cosmopolitan Answers a Few #BonerQuestions