BusinessWeek screws up, and Condé Nast doesn't care about the Internet

BusinessWeek's story on the purchase of Wired News is worse than useless. Writer Jon Fine (pictured here in his New Media glasses) rushed out a piece as thoroughly researched as a Gawker Media blog post.

For example, Fine wonders why Wired sold its magazine to one company (Condé Nast) and its web site to another (Lycos). A writer of his caliber should know that Wired had no choice but to split its properties, because no media company would take the site, and no dot-com would take the magazine. Condé Nast was so uninterested in the Internet that it let Lycos handle its magazine's web site — a decision everyone later regretted.

He also says that Wired News and Wired Mag shared offices for eight years. Wrong again — the remnants of the once-mighty Wired News just moved across the hall from the Mag a few months back, only to hear endless "You think this is a Holiday Inn?" jokes from the Mag staff.

But Fine's real sin is quoting Condé Nast dealmaker Steve Newhouse (the boss's son), who says the purchase is all about Web 2.0. Bull. Web 2.0 doesn't care about Wired, and to be honest, Wired doesn't really care about Web 2.0 (its editor's Net-centric "Long Tail" book notwithstanding).

Newhouse did not pay $25 million for eight writers at a dying news site. Newhouse paid $25 million to wrest his magazine's web site away from Lycos.

Update: Fine posted a correction. If he sends me his address, I'll mail him a copy of Wired — A Romance.

Steve Newhouse on Wired and Wired News [BusinessWeek]

Earlier: Condé Nast bought Wired News: What that means [Valleywag]