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For other uses, see Forbes (disambiguation).
Cover for December 20, 2010, featuring Julian Assange
Editor-in-chief Steve Forbes
Editor Randall Lane[1]
Categories Money
Frequency Bi-Weekly
Total circulation
First issue 1917; 99 years ago (1917)
Company Forbes, Inc.
Country United States
Based in Jersey City, New Jersey
Language English
ISSN 0015-6914

Forbes is an American business magazine owned by Forbes, Inc. Published biweekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, and law. Its headquarters are in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including its lists of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and rankings of world's top companies (the Forbes Global 2000). The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool".[3] Its chairman and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Perlis.

Company history

File:Naked Pictures of Bea Arthur 0078.jpg
Forbes headquarters on 5th Avenue in Manhattan (now owned by New York University)
File:Forbes building in NYC.jpg
Forbes Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City (now owned by New York University)

B. C. Forbes, a financial columnist for the Hearst papers, and his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street,[4] founded Forbes magazine in 1917.[5][6] Forbes provided the money and the name and Drey provided the publishing expertise. The original name of the magazine was Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings.[4] Drey became vice-president of the B.C. Forbes Publishing Company,[7] while B.C. Forbes became editor-in-chief, a post he held until his death in 1954. B.C. Forbes was assisted in his later years by his two eldest sons, Bruce Charles Forbes (1916–1964) and Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1917–1990).

Bruce Forbes took over on his father's death, and his strengths lay in streamlining operations and developing marketing.[5] During his tenure, 1954–1964, the magazine's circulation nearly doubled.[5]

On Malcolm's death, his eldest son Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes Jr. (1947–) became President and Chief Executive of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine.[8] Between 1961 and 1999 the magazine was edited by James Michaels.[9] In 1993, under Michaels, Forbes was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.[10] In 2006, an investment group Elevation Partners that includes rock star Bono bought a minority interest in the company.[8][11] A 2009 New York Times report said: "40 percent of the enterprise was sold ... for a reported $300 million, setting the value of the enterprise at $750 million. According to Mark M. Edmiston of AdMedia Partners, 'It's probably not worth half of that now.'"[12] In November 2013, Forbes Media, which publishes Forbes magazine, was put up for sale.[13] This was encouraged by Elevation Partners, of whom were minority shareholders.

Sales documents prepared by Deutsche Bank revealed that while Forbes is seeking price of over $400M, the 2012 EBITDA was only $15M.[14] Forbes sold a majority of itself to Asian investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments in July 2014.[15]

Sale of headquarters and relocation to Jersey City

In January 2010, Forbes reached an agreement to sell its headquarters building located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to New York University. Terms of the deal were not publicly reported, but Forbes will continue to occupy the space under a five-year sale-leaseback arrangement.[16] The headquarters will move to the Newport section of Jersey City in 2014.[17][18] Forbes committed to staying in New Jersey for ten years, for which it received a $27 million tax grant from the state.[19]

Other publications

Apart from Forbes and its lifestyle supplement, Forbes Life, other titles include Forbes Asia and fifteen local language editions. Steve Forbes and his magazine's writers offer investment advice on the weekly Fox TV show Forbes on Fox and on Forbes On Radio. Other company groups include Forbes Conference Group, Forbes Investment Advisory Group and Forbes Custom Media. From the 2009 Times report: "Steve Forbes recently returned from opening up a Forbes magazine in India, bringing the number of foreign editions to 10." In addition, that year the company began publishing ForbesWoman, a quarterly magazine published by Steve Forbes' daughter, Moira Forbes, with a companion Web site.[12]

The company formerly published American Legacy magazine as a joint venture, although that magazine separated from Forbes as of May 14, 2007.[20]

The company also formerly published American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines. After failing to find a buyer, Forbes suspended publication of these two magazines as of May 17, 2007.[21] Both magazines have since been purchased by the American Heritage Publishing Company, and have resumed publication as of Spring 2008.[22]

Forbes has published the Forbes Travel Guide since 2009.

On January 6, 2014, Forbes Magazine announced that, in partnership with app creator Maz, it was launching a social networking app called "Stream". Stream allows Forbes readers to save and share visual content with other readers and discover content from Forbes magazine and within the app. [23]

Forbes named magazine artist Kyle Reeves as Vice President to David Churbuck. David founded Forbes‍ '​ Web site in 1996. The site uncovered Stephen Glass' journalistic fraud in The New Republic in 1998, an article that drew attention to internet journalism. At the peak of media coverage of alleged Toyota sudden unintended acceleration in 2010 it exposed the California "runaway Prius" as a hoax, as well as running five other articles by Michael Fumento challenging the entire media premise of Toyotas suddenly gone bad. The site, like the magazine, publishes many lists focusing on billionaires and their possessions, especially expensive homes, a critical aspect of the website's apparent popularity.[24] employs the slogan "Home Page For The World's Business Leaders" and sometimes claims to be the world's most widely visited business web site.[25]

The company's current chief executive officer is Mike Perlis; the current chief product officer is Lewis D'vorkin; the current editor of the magazine is Randall Lane. also publishes subscription investment newsletters, and an online guide to web sites, Best of the Web. is part of Forbes Digital, a division of Forbes Media LLC. Forbes' holdings include a portion of RealClearPolitics. Together these sites reach more than 27 million unique visitors each month.

The 2009 Times report said that, while "one of the top five financial sites by traffic [throwing] off an estimated $70 million to $80 million a year in revenue, [it] never yielded the hoped-for public offering".[12]

Forbes currently allows advertisers to publish blog posts on its website alongside regular editorial content through a program called AdVoice, which accounts for more than 10 percent its digital revenue.[26] The website also uses a "contributor model" in which a wide network of "contributors" writes and publishes articles directly on the website.[27] Contributors are paid based on traffic to their pages; the site has received contributions from over 2,500 individuals, and some contributors have earned over US$100,000, according to the company.[27]


  1. Randall Lane returns to Forbes as editor
  2. "Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  3. "Forbes Magazine". Golden web awards. August 24, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Notes of a Business Quizzer: Forbes" (July 6, 2007)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gorman, Robert F. (ed.) (2007) "September 15, 1917: Forbes Magazine is founded" The Twentieth Century, 1901–1940 (Volume III) Salem Press, Pasadena, California, pp.1374–1376, p. 1375, ISBN 978-1-58765-327-8
  6. "Media Kit 2013" (PDF). Forbes Middle East. Retrieved September 18, 2014. 
  7. Commerce and Industry Association of New York (November 18, 1922) "The Association Prepares for New Demands: The Volunteer Workers" Greater New York: Bulletin of the Merchants' Association of New York Commerce and Industry Association of New York, New York, p. 6, OCLC 2447287
  8. 8.0 8.1 'Forbes Announce Elevation Partners Investment in Family Held Company' Elevation Partners press release, August 6, 2006.
  9. Pérez-Peña, Richard (October 4, 2007). "James Michaels, Longtime Forbes Editor, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  10. "National Magazine Awards Database". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  11. "NussbaumOnDesign Bono Buys Into Forbes, Launches Product Red in US and Expands His Brand. – BusinessWeek". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Even Forbes is Pinching Pennies" by David Carr, The New York Times, June 14, 2009 (June 15, 2009 on p. B1 of the NY ed.). Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  13. CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY and DAVID GELLES (November 15, 2013). "Forbes Says It Is for Sale". New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  14. "The Newsonomics of Forbes' real performance and price potential". Ken Doctor. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  15. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg (July 19, 2014). "Forbes sold to Asian investors". Market Watch. 
  16. Forbes Sells Building to N.Y.U.. New York Timed Media Decoder. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.
  18. McDonald, Terrence (February 10, 2014). "Forbes Media joining other high-profile businesses in moving to Jersey City". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  19. McDonald, Terrence T. (10 Apr 2014). "Spotlight 2014: Forbes moving to Jersey City". Retrieved 11 Dec 2014. 
  20. With The May 14 Announced Separation: Twelve-Year-Old "American Legacy"/"Forbes" Partnership Was Mutually Beneficial. Industry & Business Article – Research, News, Information, Contacts, Divisions, Subsidiaries, Business Associations
  21. Charles McGrath (May 17, 2007). "Magazine Suspends Its Run in History". The New York Times. 
  22. "Thank You for Your Feedback on the American Heritage Winter 2008 Issue". Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. 
  23. "Forbes is the first magazine to launch its own social network site". Forbes. January 6, 2014. 
  24. "Jobs: Motley to Leave Time Inc., Plus More Job-Hopping Fun". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  25. Edmonston, Peter (August 28, 2006). "At, Lots of Glitter but Maybe Not So Many Visitors". New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  26. "Forbes gives advertisers an editorial voice". emedia. Archived from the original on 2013-11-09. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Bartlett, Rachel. "The Forbes contributor model: Technology, feedback and incentives". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 

Further reading

  • Forbes, Malcolm S. (1974) Fact and Comment Knopf, New York, ISBN 0-394-49187-4; twenty-five years of the editor's columns from Forbes
  • Grunwald, Edgar A. (1988) The Business Press Editor New York University Press, New York, ISBN 0-8147-3016-7
  • Holliday, Karen Kahler (1987)A Content Analysis of Business Week, Forbes and Fortune from 1966–1986 Masters of Journalism thesis from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, 69 pages, OCLC 18772376, available on microfilm
  • Kohlmeier, Louis M.; Udell, Jon G. and Anderson, Laird B. (eds.) (1981) Reporting on Business and the Economy Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, ISBN 0-13-773879-X
  • Kurtz, Howard (2000) The Fortune Tellers: Inside Wall Street's Game of Money, Media, and Manipulation Free Press, New York, ISBN 0-684-86879-2
  • Pinkerson, Stewart (2011). The Fall of the House of Forbes: The Inside Story of the Collapse of a Media Empire. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0312658591. 
  • Tebbel, John William and Zuckerman, Mary Ellen (1991) The Magazine in America, 1741–1990 Oxford University Press, New York, ISBN 0-19-505127-0
  • Parsons, D. W. (1989) The Power of the Financial Press: Journalism and Economic Opinion in Britain and America Rutgers University Press, New Jersey, ISBN 0-8135-1497-5

External links