Is 'Portfolio' Selling Like Its Hype?

Porfolio has been on New York newsstands since April 16, and national newsstands since April 24. Which means it's not too early to ask: How's it selling?

The plan for Portfolio is 200,000 copies sold at the newsstand this year, according to a source at a competing publication (grain of salt taken!). This person also tells us that the first issue has, so far, sold 30,000 copies—although "these are like early returns in an election. The number could change." So 30K for this issue, when the next issue is due in August and monthly thereafter, according to the Times, might conceivably hit 200K. This source describes the situation this way: "I hear that Portfolio—given all the hype and hoopla—pretty much bombed at newsstand. Of course, when we all saw the issue we figured it would be weak, since it isn't newsstand tweaked AT ALL—like, say, the New Yorker—so obviously it's too early to declare victory. But Portfolio has got to be going into a major rethink."

A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman had this to say: "Portfolio has been on sale for less than a month, so it's really too soon to get a good read on it. However, some of our New York City stores have had great early sales." We like to read between the lines and wonder how the stores not in New York City did with it.

A Portfolio spokeswoman told us that it's "too early for any numbers." She added: "And just so you know, in general, we don't release any numbers." Sure. After all, why would a business magazine want to release anything like numbers?