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Join Our Research Team at DMA 2014
Apr 04, 2003
Interview

How to Pitch Your Story to TIME's Business Editor

SUMMARY: More than four million people read TIME magazine. Now you can learn how to plant a story with its Business Editor Dan Goodgame. He told us he's looking for stories on big business trends, global business info, and "inside" stories for people who work in offices.
Dan Goodgame
Business Editor
TIME
Time-Life Building
Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020
212-522-3839

-> Print circulation:

4,114,137 as of Dec '02

-> Goodgame’s background

Goodgame spent most of the 1990s in the nation’s capital, first as TIME’s White House Correspondent, then as Washington Bureau Chief. He is Co-author, with TIME’s Michael Duffy, of the 1992 book “Marching in Place: The Status Quo Presidency of George Bush.”

As Business Editor, Goodgame says, “What I love most about my job is that I get paid to learn new things every day—new people and their stories, new companies and products, new ideas and technologies.”

It is not all work, work, work for Dan. He spends most weekends coaching youth sports in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and kids.

-> Current editorial coverage

TIME has three business sections in which you have the opportunity to get press:

1. The regular business section in the weekly magazine goes to all four million subscribers. For this section, Goodgame is looking for the broader stories of economic trends, large companies, and large personalities.

“When McDonald’s first started having trouble, we were one of the first to cover that,” says Goodgame. “That’s the sort of story we’re looking for in the main business section.”

2. Inside Business—TIME magazine includes different sections for different demographics. The Inside Business section runs monthly and, through the wonders of selective binding, is included only in the magazines of business subscribers.

“We know by title what our subscribers do for a living,” says Goodgame. “We know who has a job in business and would want to receive this section, as opposed to my beloved mother-in-law who is a retired school librarian.”

This section is 10 to 14 pages long and goes to 1.8 million subscribers who fit that profile.

Inside Business stories are of interest to anyone who works in an office.

“We’d cover a story like the move of instant messaging into the workplace, both as a productivity issue and as a work culture issue—what does it mean to workers when it’s assumed that they’ll get online after dinner to continue to work?” Goodgame says.

3. Global Business—This is a small magazine within the magazine. It has its own cover, table of contents, cover story, and departments, and runs 16 to 24 pages monthly. It goes to 1 million subscribers who are top executives and managers in business, and focuses on companies that are engaged in global commerce.

“We build a lot of stories around personalities, CEOs,” says Goodgame. “We did one of the earlier pieces about Daniel Vasela of Novartis. We did coverage on Peter Braebek, CEO of Nestle, when they were rapidly expanding and making a bid for Hershey.”

Within the Global Business section, there are a number of departments:

World-beaters covers up-and-coming executives who have done something significant, they may not be CEOs but they are rising fast.

The Global Life is a high-end travel column. A typical story in this section would be how to travel to Egypt without waiting, and with great prices because of what is going on in the Middle East.

Global Briefs covers products, gadgets for business travelers, business related books, and Websites.

Global Investing covers international, high-end investing, and “we’re always open to ideas,” Goodgame says.

You can see examples of the types of articles found in the Global Business and Inside Business sections online through links at http://www.TIME.com/TIME/business/.

-> The best way to pitch Goodgame and his staff

Fax any business-related pitch to Dody Tsiantar, Chief Reporter and Researcher, at 212-522-7197. She will get them to Goodgame. “I have a long commute and I read them on the train,” he says.

You will not hear back from him if he can not use it. If it is something interesting, he will call. You can call his Assistant, Jennifer McAlwee, at 212-522-4613, to make sure he received your fax.

-> What Goodgame looks for in a story pitch

Because the business sections are weekly or monthly, they do not cover many of the types of stories a newspaper would. “It has to spin forward,” says Goodgame. “It can’t be exactly the same story that’s already appeared in the Wall Street Journal.”

Goodgame also says they are very reliable on embargo dates, because they “like to be let in on stories early.”

Send him stories that are surprising or newsy, information on something that is about to happen, profiles of interesting personalities. “If a company is pitching a new product or service, we want examples of customers who are effectively using them,” he says.

Four tips from Goodgame:

1. Press releases should be selective for TIME. “We don’t want a press release that you’re sending to other places and you’re sending every day.”

2. Develop credibility by sending interesting stories on a regular basis, even if they do not use them. “We might say, ‘Oh, they had something interesting last time, let’s take a look at this.”

3. Make your pitch in the context of another story you have seen them do. “We’re very flattered by that. It indicates to us they’re reading us and know who we are.”

4. Do not put them on a blast fax with things you are sending to wire services.

-> Deadlines

They change every month, so send your pitch as soon as you have something that might make a story. “There’s a lot of overlap between the business sections, so often when a story comes along that could go in any of them, we put it in whichever section comes out next.”

-> Submitting pre-written contributions

They do take freelance contributions, but only from professional writers who write about business.

However, check out the reader letters in the Global Business Briefs section. “We are very partial to letters from CEOs and business people,” Goodgame says. “It needs to be about something we have written about, but that shouldn’t be very limiting. And keep it tight.”

For example, one back-and-forth correspondence has been between one of TIME’s columnists and the head of a telecommunications company.

-> Becoming a regular columnist

“In this environment? Not for the foreseeable future.”

-> Where you can meet him

As we have heard so often lately, “I used to attend conferences, but not much anymore.”

Can you get together with Goodgame over lunch? “I do try to meet with top executives when I can, though it’s difficult right now with as much work as we have,” he says.

-> Favorite professional publication

The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal

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