'BusinessWeek' In The Age Of Lifestyle Porn And 'Portfolio'

The inmates at BusinessWeek Online are getting restless—and not just because one of the mag's staffers isn't using toilet paper! Some of them, at least, are hoping that the break that BusinessWeek.com Editor-in-Chief (and mag Executive Editor) Kathy Rebello is taking to tend to family in Oregon is a permanent one. We vividly remember Kathy Rebello, because she brought in former Forbes.com editor Charles Dubow as New Products Director, and he's the freak who wrote that memo instructing the copy desk not to change the headlines on which he worked so very hard. Now a source reports that Rebello "has been placed indefinitely on ice."

During her absence, however long it may be, her duties will be performed by Rebello's mag co-executive editor (and Jack Welch biographer) John Byrne, who is more of a straight-ahead business guy than the lifestyle-porn addicts that've been brought in to BusinessWeek.com in the last couple years.

Dubow seems like the ringleader of this wealth-porn clique—someone who's in favor of pieces about, say, the Mercedes-Benz ML500 SUV than stock options. One of Dubow's buddies at Forbes.com was Michael Noer, of don't-marry-a-woman-who-has-a-career fame, and Dubow was a favorite of Rebello's. So now if Rebello is being pushed out, then maybe it's curtains for not only Dubow, but also Rebello's henchman Martin Keohan (who reportedly collaborated with Rebello to plant suspiciously laudatory comments on BW's site under the name Martin Smithers).

A reason for Rebello's presumed demise, this story goes, is that Yahoo overhauled its finance page. Previously, the page had links to Dubow's slide shows, among other lifestyle features, but no more—and traffic plummeted. "Take out those smartest-superhero slides shows and the double- and triple-clicks to get to stories and the traffic to bona fide reportage hasn't grown in two years," sniped the insider.

What no one's mentioning, of course, is the 800-pound gorilla in the room: Portfolio and its zone-flooding of the business-lifestyle-porn category—and its heavier paper stock, and its website, and its ginormous staff. Seriously, 100 people for a monthly? Insane. Anyway! Perhaps BusinessWeek, instead of following Forbes' lady-loving footsteps, is going in the other direction? You know: Less lifestyle crap and more actual business reporting.