But worst is that BW has actually lost ground since 2006 on monetizing its traffic. That traffic has become less valuable, with its CPM (an ad measure meaning cost per thousand) tumbling 25 percent.

If that trend continues, or even stabilizes, it would have to increase traffic enormously to make a go of it online. That seems unlikely, at best.

Lastly, this is going to be—ahem—extremely unhelpful for its journalism, anyway:

In February, Mr. Adler and Mr. Fox called editorial employees into a meeting to announce a solution. The magazine would focus on what executives needed to know for their jobs, and shed its sports, lifestyle and politics articles. And writers needed to consider a businessperson’s point of view, rather than a consumer’s…

But other employees saw a different subtext: their role now was to help business leaders make more money. Though the investigative unit has continued its work, other staff members say their harder-hitting stories have been killed, held or edited into submission.

That’s what we call burning the village to save it.

UPDATE: The Times has corrected the Business Exchange error and one other.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.