Sunday, July 13, 2008

Secrecy At Hearst Historically

(The following article first appeared in the 9/9/92 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly newspaper, Downtown.)

Although Cosmopolitan and other Hearst publications often claim to be about providing information to their readers, Hearst has, historically, not been eager to be too public about its private family operation. As Forbes noted in its December 14, 1987 issue:

“Hearst…is a secretive outfit that doesn’t reveal its finances…Even within the company, financial information is shared only on a strict-need-to-know basis…”

Because Cosmopolitan’s parent company was a private, Hearst family-owned business during the 1990s, there were “no public stockholders to be considered, no troublesome reports to be filed with the SEC” and “major decisions” could “be reached quietly,” according to The Hearsts: Family And Empire. New York magazine also reported in its July 27, 1992 article on Hearst, that “like most of Hearst’s top executives,” then-Hearst Magazine Division President Bahrenburg “did not respond to repeated requests for an interview” and “several Hearst employees said they had been ordered not to talk.”

(Downtown 9/9/92)

Next: The Hearst Dynasty’s Inherited Wealth In The 1990s