It looks like the recent hiring of Sara Nelson to run Publishers Weekly may not have begun as smoothly as Reed Business would have liked. But I suspect the N.Y. Times is making more of these early missteps than is needed.
Far more interesting is Nelson's belief that the difference between trade magazines and consumer magazines is blurring. And Nelson sees opportunity by aiming Publishers Weekly at book professionals and book fans alike. "There is a crossover population that we should be able to add to the mix," she said. That may prove to be a great idea.
There are precedents for this B2B/B2C hybid. Advertising Age has always had a small number of non-professional readers. But the giant in this space would have to be Trains magazine, which exists first and foremost to serve that peculiar breed of industry aficionado -- the rail fan.
Publishers Weekly has no time to waste. New competition has arrived from VNU.