It’s nice to see that Conde Nast hasn’t spent all $125 million on umbrellas

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Like a lot of people in business journalism, I’ve been wondering what exactly Conde Nast Portfolio is spending its purported $125 million budget on. I’ve been hoping that most of it was going to my friend and CNP senior writer Dan Roth, since we’re supposed to have lunch soon and maybe he’ll pay.

Anyway, my long-awaited CNP charter subscriber umbrella arrived in the mail yesterday. It looks great (see photo below), but feels seriously flimsy. First big gust of wind, and that thing is totally going inside-out. So unless the Conde Nasters paid retail, the umbrellas can’t account for more than a couple hundred thousand dollars (probably much less) of the $125 million. I’m still banking on Dan.

One other thing: Launching a magazine is hard. I’m pretty sure Portfolio marks my fourth go-round as a charter subscriber. Just one of the magazines, SmartMoney, has survived, although its glory years are now clearly behind it (or ahead of it: you never know). The other two were the original Radar (and no, my subscription doesn’t seem to have carried over to the new Radar) and something called Southpoint, an attempt to extend the Texas Monthly model of smart regional reporting and service journalism to the entire Southern U.S. That died after about four issues. But things did work out okay for its editor.