Media: Profile - Dawning of a new BusinessAge, Anil Bhoyrul, editor, BusinessAge

Anil Bhoyrul makes many other business journalists seem staid and conservative. He blasted his way into journalism after deciding that a career in civil engineering didn’t suit him, rocketed up to run Sunday Business in his first five years, was ousted by the paper’s new owners and now is a kind of proprietor/editor of the most rumbustious business magazine ever to find its way onto the newsstands. And he’s still only 30.

Anil Bhoyrul makes many other business journalists seem staid and

conservative. He blasted his way into journalism after deciding that a

career in civil engineering didn’t suit him, rocketed up to run Sunday

Business in his first five years, was ousted by the paper’s new owners

and now is a kind of proprietor/editor of the most rumbustious business

magazine ever to find its way onto the newsstands. And he’s still only

30.



After helping to launch Sunday Business with his mentor Tom Rubython in

1996, Bhoyrul found the paper’s incoming shareholders wanted him out in

January of this year. Fortunately, he’d been talking to other investors

about the paper so, when he suggested to his backers that they buy his

old title BusinessAge from VNU, everyone agreed and now Bhoyrul is back

in charge of his first love.



He still embodies the fighting spirit of BusinessAge’s first incarnation

under owner and editor Tom Rubython, who sold it to VNU in 1995.



’Under VNU the title became very dull, full of share tips, graphs and

diagrams,’ complains Bhoyrul. ’It was very boring. I plan to take the

title back to its glossy, controversial and scandalous best. We’ll

probably ruin a few careers along the way, but only if they deserve it,

and we’ll keep on with our big interviews.’



The legend of the pre-VNU BusinessAge was that it went down in a welter

of writs.



’Nonsense,’ says Bhoyrul. ’No-one sued us successfully,’ he says. ’In

libel cases you just have to keep your nerve. In fact, I see getting

sued as the ultimate compliment. If I write a horrible piece about

someone and they don’t call their lawyer, I wonder what I’ve done wrong.

As long as you know the story is correct, you just have to keep your

nerve.’



Bhoyrul is clear about the ambitions of his title and he believes his

staff are too. Most of them served with him on BusinessAge in the early

years and the others he pinched from Sunday Business when he left. He

plans to interview the likes of Blair, Branson, Sugar and Eubank and he

thinks these names, coupled with the magazine’s attitude, should help

reach the target ABC figure of 60,000 within the year.



’This time round we’ve done a lot of bulk sales deals with airlines,

which we didn’t do before,’ he explains. ’I suppose I’ve learned a lot

from editing a newspaper for two years. It’s a really tough job. People

only read one newspaper, but they read several magazines, so it should

be easier to put on circulation with a magazine.’



And what of Tom Rubython? Will he return to join his protege? ’Tom may

work for us as a freelance,’ Bhoyrul opines. ’ In fact, he’s in the same

building as me, as is Sunday Business. They needed to rent the top floor

out so I offered them money and they took it.



’Of course, they didn’t expect me to nick their sales director and their

head of design, but there we are. Anyway, if things go according to plan

I’ll offer to buy the paper in a year or so. I’m sure it’ll be for

sale.’



HIGHLIGHTS



1993: Insight editor, BusinessAge



1994: Deputy editor, BusinessAge



1995: Launch team manager, Sunday Business



1996: Editor, Sunday Business



1997: Editor, BusinessAge.



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