Still building a Portfolio

Conde Nast keeping mum on new magazine

Conde Nast’s new business mag Portfolio took another small — very small — step toward launch June 15 with a lunch at Gotham’s Four Seasons restaurant.

In front of the mag’s new logo — and a mix of reporters, ad buyers and SI Newhouse — editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman interviewed Google CEO Eric Schmidt about the size and ambitions of his company.

Many of the reporters gathered were more interested in the size and ambitions of Lipman’s mag, but she said little about them, and it was actually Schmidt who stepped up as Portfolio pitchman. Decrying a “lack of professionalism” among some in the business blogosphere, he said Portfolio will “bring the best and highest standards” to its reporting.

The mag has drawn a lot of ink since Lipman, previously a deputy editor at the Wall Street Journal, was named edit topper last September. But info about the mag’s plans has barely trickled out since then.

Conde Nast finally announced the pub’s name two weeks ago — then said the first issue wouldn’t be out until next April.

One Conde Nast insider says the mag is taking its time because unlike other new launches, business reporting is “a little further out of (CN’s) comfort zone.” It also plans on a video-heavy Web site; the June 15 lunch was, in fact, being filmed for posting.

Reporters were hungry for clues about the mag, but the closest they got was when Dan Roth, a former Fortune staffer hired by Lipman for Portfolio, asked a question of Schmidt.Journos will have other opportunities to pry, though. Conde Nast biz group prexy David Carey says the mag will throw similar events in the fall and winter leading up to the launch.

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