20% Down Is The New Up: The Sequel To A Blatant Attempt To Coin A New Catchphrase

At the annual Kelly Gang gathering, a rite for a particular New York media tribe each St. Patrick’s Day, I pulled up next to a senior executive in the magazine industry.

In the course of the usual how’s-business chit-chat, I repeated to him my theory that 20% down is the new up.

He gave me a long look.

30% down is the new up,” he corrected me.


A bold attempt at reworking a catchphrase … that has yet to catch on. But I’m not having it. Semi-supporting documentation from my pal and former boss, Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom, who also attended the conference where I concocted the whole 20%-down-is-the-new-etc, in an interview with the New York Observer’s John Koblin (emphasis mine):

“It’s pretty horrible,” said Mr. Bloom “If a publication loses 50 or 60 percent versus last year, that’s half your revenue that disappeared! A great quote from someone I was talking to the other day said I’m just kind of hoping if I can get to 15 or 20 percent down, I’ll be somewhere in the middle of the pack.

You know what I mean?”

Yes, Jonah, I do. I do.

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