Published six times a year, Forbes features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. It also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. It has an international edition in Asia as well as editions produced under license in 27 countries and regions worldwide. The magazine is known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400), the 30 most notable young people under the age of 30 (Forbes 30 under 30), America's Wealthiest Celebrities, the world's top companies (the Forbes Global 2000), Forbes list of the World's Most Powerful People, and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "Change the World".
In July 2023, Fortune reported that Austin Russell is attempting to acquire 82 percent of the company. Neither Forbes nor Integrated Whale Media Investments have confirmed the report. The transaction attracted scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Russell denied reports that Russian businessman Magomed Musaev is involved in the transaction.
B. C. Forbes, a financial columnist for the Hearst papers, and his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street, founded Forbes magazine on September 15, 1917. Forbes provided the money and the name and Drey provided the publishing expertise. The original name of the magazine was Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings. Drey became vice-president of the B.C. Forbes Publishing Company, while B.C. Forbes became editor-in-chief, a post he held until his death in 1954. B.C. Forbes was assisted in his later years by his two eldest sons, Bruce Charles Forbes (1916–1964) and Malcolm Forbes (1917–1990).
Bruce Forbes took over after his father's death, and his strengths lay in streamlining operations and developing marketing. During his tenure, 1954–1964, the magazine's circulation nearly doubled.
On Bruce's death, his brother Malcolm Forbes became president and chief executive officer of Forbes, and editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. Between 1961 and 1999 the magazine was edited by James Michaels. In 1993, under Michaels, Forbes was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. In 2006, an investment group Elevation Partners that includes rock star Bono bought a minority interest in the company with a reorganization, through a new company, Forbes Media LLC, in which Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com, along with other media properties, is now a part. A 2009 New York Times report said: "40 percent of the enterprise was sold... for a reported $300 million, setting the value of the enterprise at $750 million." Three years later, Mark M. Edmiston of AdMedia Partners observed, "It's probably not worth half of that now." It was later revealed that the price had been US$264 million.
Sale of headquarters
In January 2010, Forbes reached an agreement to sell its headquarters building on
Sale to Integrated Whale Media (51% stake)
In November 2013, Forbes Media, which publishes Forbes magazine, was put up for sale.
In 2017, Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow of the Asia Society, wrote in The Washington Post that "Since that purchase, there have been several instances of editorial meddling on stories involving China that raise questions about Forbes magazine's commitment to editorial independence."
Failed SPAC merger and sale
On August 26, 2021, Forbes announced their plans to go public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company called Magnum Opus Acquisition, and starting to trade at the New York Stock Exchange as FRBS. In February 2022, it was announced that Cryptocurrency exchange Binance would acquire a $200 million stake in Forbes as a result of the SPAC flotation. In June 2022, the company terminated its SPAC merger citing unfavorable market conditions.
In August 2022, the company announced that it was exploring a sale of its business. In May 2023, billionaire Austin Russell, founder of Luminar Technologies, is under contract to acquire an 82 percent stake in a deal valuing the company at $800 million. As of July 30, 2023, the deal has not closed or been acknowledged by either Forbes or Whale Media. His majority ownership includes the remaining portion of the company owned by Forbes family which was not previously sold to Integrated Whale Media.
Apart from Forbes and its lifestyle supplement, Forbes Life, other titles include Forbes Asia and 45 local language editions, including:
- Forbes Africa
- Forbes África Lusófona
- Forbes Afrique
- Forbes Argentina
- Forbes Australia
- Forbes Austria
- Forbes Baltics
- Forbes Brazil
- Forbes Bulgaria
- Forbes Central America
- Forbes Colombia
- Forbes Chile
- Forbes China
- Forbes Czech
- Forbes Dominican Republic
- Forbes Ecuador
- Forbes En Español
- Forbes Estonia
- Forbes France
- Forbes Georgia
- Forbes Greece
- Forbes Hungary
- Forbes India
- Forbes Indonesia
- Forbes Israel
- Forbes Italy
- Forbes Japan
- Forbes Kazakhstan
- Forbes Korea
- Forbes Latvia
- Forbes Lithuania
- Forbes Lusophone Africa
- Forbes Mexico
- Forbes Middle East
- Forbes Monaco
- Forbes Perú
- Forbes Poland
- Forbes Portugal
- Forbes Romania
- Forbes Russia
- Forbes Slovakia
- Forbes Spain
- Forbes Thailand
- Forbes Ukraine
- Forbes Uruguay
- Forbes Vietnam
Steve Forbes and his magazine's writers offer investment advice on the weekly
The company also formerly published
Forbes has published the Forbes Travel Guide since 2009.
In 2013, Forbes licensed its brand to
On January 6, 2014, Forbes magazine announced that, in partnership with app creator Maz, it was launching a social networking app called "Stream". Stream allows Forbes readers to save and share visual content with other readers and discover content from Forbes magazine and Forbes.com within the app.
Forbes.com is part of Forbes Digital, a division of Forbes Media LLC. Forbes's holdings include a portion of RealClearPolitics. Together these sites reach more than 27 million unique visitors each month. Forbes.com employs the slogan "Home Page for the World's Business Leaders" and claimed, in 2006, to be the world's most widely visited business web site. The 2009 Times report said that, while "one of the top five financial sites by traffic [throwing] off an estimated $70 million to $80 million a year in revenue, [it] never yielded the hoped-for public offering".
As of 2019 the company published 100 articles each day produced by 3,000 outside contributors who were paid little or nothing. This business model, in place since 2010, "changed their reputation from being a respectable business publication to a content farm," according to Damon Kiesow, the Knight Chair in digital editing and producing at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Similarly, Harvard University's Nieman Lab deemed Forbes "a platform for scams, grift, and bad journalism" as of 2022.
Forbes.com uses a "
Currently, the website also blocks internet users using ad blocking software from accessing articles, demanding that the website be put on the ad blocking software's whitelist before access is granted. Forbes argues that this is done because customers using ad blocking software do not contribute to the site's revenue. Malware attacks have been noted to occur from Forbes site.
Forbes won the
In November 2019, Forbes launched its streaming platform Forbes8, an on-demand video network debuting a slate of original content aimed at entrepreneurs. The network currently features thousands of videos and according to Forbes is "a Netflix for entrepreneurs". In 2020, the network announced the release of several documentary series including Forbes Rap Mentors, Driven Against the Odds, Indie Nation and Titans on the Rocks.
Forbes Business Council
Launched as an invite-only platform, Forbes Business Council is open to SMEs and MSMEs across the globe. There is a fee to join the Councils. The platform helps entrepreneurs and founders connect with like-minded people, collaborate, as well as publish posts on Forbes.com.
- Forbes 30 Under 30
- Forbes 400
- Forbes 500
- Forbes Global 2000
- The World's Billionaires
- World's 100 Most Powerful Women
- World's Most Powerful People
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When a Chinese company buys a major American magazine, does the publication censor its coverage of China? There is only one example so far, and the results are discouraging. In 2014, a Hong Kong-based investment group called Integrated Whale Media purchased a majority stake in Forbes Media, one of the United States' best-known media companies. It's hard to demonstrate causality in such cases. But since that purchase, there have been several instances of editorial meddling on stories involving China that raise questions about Forbes magazine's commitment to editorial independence.
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