Warfield's magazine said yesterday that it will cease publication after more than five years of covering Maryland business. Its publisher said the biweekly glossy will be replaced by a weekly tabloid called Warfield's Business Record.
"We felt strongly that we were putting out the best editorial product we could in magazine format," said Bob Dawson, associate publisher of Warfield's and its sister publication, the Daily Record.
"We got the response from reader ship that they weren't willing to pay for it."
Indeed, Warfield's had been unable to push its paid circulation beyond 4,000 copies, despite a series of changes, including a switch to the biweekly format from monthly publication earlier this year.
The magazine, which had won an award for general excellence from the Area Association of Business Publications, was giving away more than 75 percent of its 17,000 circulation.
Warfield's editor, Donald Nelson, will not be retained. Two other full-time editorial employees are being terminated, along with the magazine's production manager. The magazine's final edition will be dated Dec. 4.
Warfield's Business Record will come out Friday mornings, beginning Jan. 10, Daily Record Executive Editor Mark Heschmeyer said. He said the new tabloid will be sent to all paid Warfield's subscribers and will also come inside the Friday edition of the Daily Record, a 5,500-circulation trade paper that focuses mostly on legal issues, law firms and the real estate industry.
The new tabloid will try to blend breaking news with commentary and analytical features, Publisher Edwin Warfield IV said in a statement. Mr. Dawson said the product will also include news-of-record information about Maryland business, and Mr. Heschmeyer compared the product to a Sunday edition of the Daily Record.
The niche for local weekly business papers, which is small to begin with, is already occupied by the Baltimore Business Journal, whose publisher said yesterday that he's ready for the fight.
"Edwin has been chasing our market for a long time," said Robert W. Burdon, president and publisher of the Business Journal, which has paid circulation of just over 9,000 and also comes out on Fridays. Mr. Burdon said Warfield's move to biweekly publication was designed to help the magazine compete with the Business Journal.
"That failed, and now he's going to go head-to-head," Mr. Burdon said. "We are the source of local business news in this market for a weekly paper.
Mr. Dawson was not specific about what the Business Record's edge will be in competing with the Business Journal. "That remains tobe seen, but Edwin [Warfield] has set an editorial standard here that is very evident in Warfield's magazine. We intend to continue that on a weekly basis."
Mr. Dawson said Mr. Heschmeyer, who recently joined the company from the Washington Business Journal, will run the Business Record. The Daily Record also recently hired former Business Journal reporter J. B. Pierpoint, he said.