Why BusinessWeek said Kevin Rose is worth $60 million

The original title for BusinessWeek's cover story on Kevin Rose was originally titled "Wealth Punks," Valleywag has learned. The magazine also considered the bland "Geeks 2.0" for the cover before settling on "How this kid made $60 million in 18 months."

Why did it happen?

Well, the editors made a "last-minute decision," pushed by people higher up at the magazine, according to a source. Valleywag hasn't learned which specific higher-ups were gunning for the change, but the cover copy reads less like the experiential story of a Wired profile and more like a sensationalistic exaggeration to push newsrack sales.

For netting pure publicity, the cover worked. But most of that publicity was media backlash against superinflated numbers — so at what expense comes this quick shot of readership (and a glut of online traffic)?

At best, BusinessWeek will escape with the same reputation it had going in. But at worst, when deals go sour, articles like this will be blamed — and no one will want to be the magazine's next cover boy.

Earlier: Kevin Rose explains the BusinessWeek cover photo [Valleywag]
Also: Digg fallout [Valleywag]