Media Profile: Professional risk-taker - Tom Rubython, publisher, Euro Business

Tom Rubython’s career as a publisher has swung from unquestionable success to dramatic failure. He took his first foray into publishing in 1981, when he launched the magazine Marketeer. He has gone on to launch at least five more publications. Next month he adds another, Euro Business, to the list.

Tom Rubython’s career as a publisher has swung from unquestionable

success to dramatic failure. He took his first foray into publishing in

1981, when he launched the magazine Marketeer. He has gone on to launch

at least five more publications. Next month he adds another, Euro

Business, to the list.



In the 18 intervening years, he has successfuly sold three titles to

publishers Centaur and VNU, making his fortune. Two of his titles have

folded. Most spectacular of the closures was the Sunday Business, which

suspended publication in 1997, leaving a string of unpaid journalists

and suppliers, and Rubython pounds 2 million poorer.



Rubython’s friends readily concede that at heart, he is neither a

journalist nor a businessman. Graham Sherren, chief executive of

Centaur, says: ’I think he is your typical entrepreneur. It’s in the

blood and I don’t think he can leave it alone. He has always taken

risks.’



Rubython talks little about the editorial content or readership of Euro

Business during our interview. He is far more excited by the idea of

launching a pan-European product.



His business methods are notoriously unconventional. Anil Boyrhul,

Rubython’s deputy on the Sunday Business, who now edits the Mirror’s

City column, recalls that in the final week before Sunday Business’

first Friday print date, he and Rubython would work on the paper during

the day and go hunting for money to fund the issue at night. They did

not sleep from the Monday to the Thursday at 5am, when, in his hotel

room, businessman Owen Oyston finally gave them the money. It is to

those as maverick as himself that Rubython has often turned for backing

over the years. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, for example is

funding Euro Business. Ecclestone is understood to have committed pounds

1.5 million in cash for the first year, and the equivalent of pounds 2.8

million in marketing support.



Two noticeable themes unite Rubython’s many publishing ventures. The

first is a wish to create a UK - and with the launch of Euro Business -

European version of the US business magazine Forbes. The second is to

prove himself as a David against the Goliaths of the media world. His

attitude towards the UK’s media barons is belligerent since his

experience with Sunday Business. ’I thought we were going into the

newspaper game which is run by terribly big people, but it’s not true,

anyone can launch a national.’



Euro Business, in glossy A4 format, is a monthly publication, aimed at

board directors of businesses turning over more than pounds 10 million

per annum.



It will be distributed around the world, but will concentrate on

Europe.



There will be features on businessmen and women currently making the

news, regular reports on specialist subjects, including business centres

such as Dubai and the Cayman Islands, and on topics such as offshore

financial services. Rubython outlines the input he wants from PROs.

’It’s companies with entrepreneurial-type heads who we’d be interested

in,’ he says. ’It’s all about people.’



Rubython is working night and day on the launch. He readily admits that

he has no personal interests outside publishing. ’I’m not married

because you can’t have a family and do this. You do launches and you

risk everything.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1992

Launches Business Week

1996

Launches Sunday Business

1999

Launches Euro Business



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