Boston Business Forward Bows

The publisher of Boston Business Forward believes the startup monthly can succeed despite the down economy. But industry observers predict the publication faces a rough fight for survival.

“The challenge is: How do they make the magazine fly in this market? It’s going to be a tough go—they’re going to have to position themselves as an alternative to the other, more staid [publications],” said Roberta Haber, senior vice president and media director at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. Haber said she would consider the new magazine a good vehicle for some clients that primarily target businesses, but said she had not been approached.

“People keep a monthly magazine around a lot longer” than a daily newspaper, which could make Business Forward an attractive alternative to daily or weekly media, said media strategist Jamia Gaffney of Boston’s Christopher Thomas.

The magazine, which hit newsstands last week, was founded by publisher Jeremy Brosowsky, who in 1999 launched a similar publication in Washington, D.C. That periodical turned a profit after one year, he said.

Brosowsky estimates a 70-30 editorial/advertising ratio for Business Forward’s first issue. Advertisers in the debut edition include Hale & Dorr, Foley Hoag & Elliott, New England Tech Wire, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche and Updata Capital.

Local media have been hit hard of late. The national Access Internet magazine closed, and numerous staffers at The Boston Globe accepted early retirement packages.