Peter Kafka

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Steve Forbes: We’re Not Making More Cuts

forbesJust because Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners is stepping down from the Forbes Media board, to be replaced by a cost-cutting expert, doesn’t mean more cuts are coming, says CEO Steve Forbes.

Here’s the memo Forbes distributed to his staff this afternoon:

Various media outlets today noted that Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners has stepped off the Forbes Media board and that this portends an imminent round of additional cuts. It does not.

Cutting costs has been necessary at Forbes and virtually every other company in response to the unprecedented economic downturn. We are doing what is necessary for Forbes to get through these difficult times. It is critical to remember, however, that while coping with current conditions, we are also pursuing new initiatives, the latest being ForbesWoman. We are actively examining a number of other new ventures.

Forbes continues to outperform its competitors. The brand is stronger today worldwide than ever before. In a few days I am going to India for the launch of Forbes India, our eleventh local edition and the first of its kind in India. No other business brand has a larger worldwide audience offline and online. At 5.4 million, readership of Forbes Magazine itself is at an all-time high, and Forbes Digital attracts some 40 million unique visitors each month.

Let us also remember that in 2001-2002 in the aftermath of the tech bubble bursting, and particularly after 9/11, magazine advertising plunged. We had to take many painful steps at that time as well. There were many who said we should shut down the then money-losing We did not, and it went on to great success. Now, just as then, we are contending with crisis but also planting seeds of our future success.

As for the Forbes Media board, several Elevation partners have rotated on it. Bret Pearlman has been involved from day one.  And Roger McNamee is still very much engaged with the company, particularly web strategy and technology.

We fully understand the concerns that the present difficult environment causes. We want to thank everyone for their hard work. We profoundly believe that the steps being taken, not only short-term painful ones, but also new growth initiatives, will make Forbes stronger than ever when economic recovery comes.