From its beginnings in 1843, when The Economist newspaper was founded by a Scottish hat manufacturer to further the cause of free trade, The Economist Group has evolved into a global media company that develops intelligent brands for the intellectually curious.
Below is a timeline charting the history of The Economist Group.
The Group agrees to sell CFO Publishing to private equity firm Seguin Partners, LLC, in partnership with CFO's management. The Group retains a minority stake in the new company.
The Group agrees to acquire Congressional Quarterly from the Times Publishing Company. CQ will merge with Roll Group to form the new CQ Roll Call Group. The Group moves its headquarters for continental Europe, Middle East and Africa to Geneva. Rupert Pennant-Rea, a former editor of The Economist, is appointed chairman.
The Group opens its Middle East headquarters in Dubai City. The Economist Group acquires Washington, DC-based Capitol Advantage, a publisher of online and offline congressional products. Capitol Advantage is added to the Roll Call Group portfolio. Andrew Rashbass, previously publisher of The Economist, becomes Group chief executive on July 16th. This followed Helen Alexander's announcement in April that she would step down at the annual general meeting on July 15th.
Intelligent Life relaunches as a quarterly lifestyle magazine, described by its editor, Ed Carr, as "The Economist in evening dress, on holiday, and at leisure". CFO India launches as a quarterly, featuring articles of interest to Indian finance leaders. CFO Russia launches as a monthly magazine, published under licence in the Russian language. The Economist's circulation rises to 1.3m. 2.6m unique users visit The Economist online each month.
John Micklethwait becomes editor of The Economist. The Economist is named Campaign magazine's "Medium of the Year". Roll Call expands with the acquisition of GalleryWatch. EuroFinance Conferences is acquired to complement the activities of CFO.
The Economist passes the one million circulation mark in the ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations) July-December period, averaging 1,009,759 per week.
Intelligent Life launches as an annual appealing to a similar audience to The Economist's, but dealing with trends impacting their private lives.
Sir Robert Wilson is appointed chairman. CFO wins the ASBPE (Association of Business Press Editors) award for Magazine of the Year and Folio:'s Eddie award for best business and finance magazine.
CFO China launches as the Group's first Chinese-language magazine. Roll Call overtakes the Washington Post to become the best-read publication within the US Congress.
A redesigned version of The Economist is launched, taking the paper into full colour for the first time. Global circulation averages at over 760,000. 2m people read The Economist weekly. The Journal of Commerce is sold to Commonwealth Business Media, Inc; Pyramid Research, PNE and Redhouse Press are also sold to enable the Group to focus on its core strengths. BCE is closed.
CFO.com is launched.
Information Strategy is sold.
CFO Europe and CFO Asia are launched as sister publications to CFO magazine.
Helen Alexander is appointed chief executive of The Economist Group. The Economist Intelligence Unit acquires Pyramid Research, a supplier of telecommunications research. A business information management magazine, Information Strategy, launches.
The Economist is published in 11 regional advertising editions. Circulation exceeds 600,000, covering more than 180 countries. The Economist online is launched.
The Group acquires the Journal of Commerce, a major information provider for shipping and transportation industries in the US.
Sir Dominic Cadbury is appointed chairman. The Group sets up a printing company, Redhouse Press.
Marjorie Scardino becomes chief executive of The Economist Group. Bill Emmott is appointed editor of The Economist. Innovations under his editorship include the Americas section, Technology Quarterly, an Obituary page, Charlemagne and emerging market indicators. 80% of the newspaper's circulation is now made up of foreign sales. The Economist celebrates its 150th anniversary with a number of special activities and a donation of £246,000 to the British Council to promote English as a second language overseas. Business Central Europe (BCE) is launched as a monthly magazine covering the business markets in Central and Eastern Europe. It was edited from Vienna.
The Economist Store opens in Regent Street, London. The Economist's circulation exceeds 500,000. The Group acquires an interest in Roll Call, the leading publication in Congressional news and analysis that was founded in Washington, DC in 1955. The remaining equity was acquired in 1993.
The Group acquires Public Network Europe (PNE), a monthly magazine for European managers in public telecommunications network companies.
Sir John Harvey-Jones is appointed chairman.
The Group acquires CFO, a controlled-circulation business magazine for senior financial executives.
The Economist undergoes a major redesign. The World In series is launched, offering forecasts of the year ahead written by journalists from The Economist and prominent figures from the spheres of politics, business and the arts.
Rupert Pennant-Rea is made editor of The Economist. His innovations included the Asia section, the Bagehot and Lexington columns, and a page on sport. The Group acquires Business International, which merged with Economist Intelligence Unit in 1987.
The Economist's circulation exceeds 250,000.
David Gordon is appointed chief executive of The Economist Group.
The Economist embarks on a major drive in the US, creating a huge circulation and advertising breakthrough.
Andrew Knight becomes editor of The Economist. He was responsible for introducing science and technology pages.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild is appointed chairman.
The Economist's circulation exceeds 100,000.
The launch of a fortnightly edition of The Economist in Spanish is announced. Aimed at the Latin American market, it closed early in 1970.
Commissioned in 1959 in Mayfair, The Economist's complex is completed. The newspaper's landmark headquarters were designed by Modernist architects Peter and Alison Smithson.
Lord Crowther is appointed chairman.
Economist Conferences, a division of Economist Intelligence Unit, is formed and launches government roundtables. The Economist's circulation reaches 55,175.
The Economistis branded diaries are launched.
The Economist Intelligence Unit is founded to serve the newspaper and provide business intelligence to outside companies. The Economist bookshop is created as a 50/50 partnership with the London School of Economics. It was sold in 1992.
Lord Layton is appointed chairman.
Geoffrey Crowther becomes editor of The Economist. He was later appointed managing director and then chairman. A circulation figure of 10,000 is reached, 50% accounted for by international sales.
The cover of The Economist is dramatically modernised.
The Economist undertakes its first major redesign.
Sir Henry Strakosch is appointed chairman.
The Economist is sold by the Wilson Trust to Financial Newspaper Proprietors Limited and "an influential group of individual shareholders". The division of ownership was designed to ensure the maintenance of its editorial independence.
WT Layton is appointed editor. His editorship was of profound importance to the newspaper, and he was probably the person to whom it owes most thanks for its survival and continued independence.
The Economist's circulation rises to 6,170.
Circulation peaks at 3,690 and drops steadily until 1881.
Walter Bagehot, now remembered in the Bagehot column, becomes editor.
The Economist's circulation peaks at 4,483 and settles around 3,500 for the next few years.
The newspaper's full title becomes The Economist, Weekly Commercial Times, Bankers' Gazette, & Railway Monitor. A Political, Literary, and General Newspaper. A small part of sales are now international (Europe and the United States).
The Economist: A Political, Commercial, Agricultural, & Free-Trade Journal is founded by James Wilson. Average weekly circulation reaches 1,969.
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