Impact Media, the Santiago de Chile based license holder for Harvard Business Review’s Latin America’s edition ceased operations last November due to financial problems. In 2003 HBR Publishing, the Boston, MS, based publisher of the U.S. edition of Harvard Business Review, gave Impact Media exclusive distribution rights of Harvard Business Review in Latin America for the next 10 years.

As a result, Impact Media led by media entrepreneur Ricardo Zisis had been in charge of printing, translation and distribution of Harvard Business Review in Latin America. Impact Media also was responsible for the marketing of HBR’s Corporate Learning Unit in Latin America. 

Bankruptcy

In November 2011, Impact Media announced bankruptcy and its employees sent HBR Publishing a letter (in Spanish) with complaints that included late salary and health insurance payments.  David Wan, Chief Executive of HBR Publishing, told Chilean website Diario Financiero Online, that in November HBR Publishing took over the Latin American operation and translated, printed and distributed the magazine out of Boston. “Even though the Latin American edition is the responsibility of Impact Media, we are a non-for profit organization focused on education and we have made sure that Harvard Business Review Latin America subscribers keep getting their publication. This has implied a significant cost,” Wan said.

Last month (April), HBR Publishing stopped translating texts and started sending the English-language Edition to Latin American subscribers. Wan said that the period in which the English edition will be offered will be short. “It will be a transitional phase until we find a new partner,” he noted.

Full fledged monthly editions

Starting in 2003 Impact Media published two full-fledged monthly editions in Spanish and Portuguese (for Brazil). At the time, Ricardo Zisis told Portada that Harvard Business Review Latinamerica was launched in mid-November with a total circulation of 47,000. The Portuguese edition in Brazil has a circulation of 20.000. The Spanish edition has a total circulation of 27,000 split between Mexico (15.000), Chile (4.500), Argentina (3.500) and the rest of Latin America (4.000). “We concentrate heavily on the main markets,” Zisis explained, “reaching a critical mass very attractive to advertisers.” Later Impact Media also expanded in to the Conference business using the Harvard Business Review brand. In November 2005, Brazilian publishing house segmento RM editores, took over translation and publication of Harvard Business Review Brazil.

H BR Latin America was the first full Latin American edition in Spanish and Portuguese of an English language business magazine. Other English language publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York TimesNewsweek and The Economist, have a presence in the region mostly as branded syndications; content from English editions is translated, edited and then inserted in local newspapers and magazines.

However in October 2011 , Forbes launched an Argentine edition with local partner Grupo 23. The magazine has a monthly circulation of 15,000 and 50% of its content is locally produced and  50% comes  from the U.S. edition. 

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