Newsweek pulls the plug on print
18 October 2012
Current affairs magazine Newsweek is abandoning its print edition after 80 years and opting for an all-digital format in the new year.
The announcement was made by The Newsweek Daily Beast Company founder and editor-in-chief Tina Brown. Newsweek will become a web-only product and expand its tablet and online presence.
The last print edition of Newsweek in the US will be December 31.
Newsweek will become Newsweek Global in its digital form and will be a worldwide edition. It will be available as a paid subscription and will be available through e-readers on the web and tablet, with select content available on The Daily Beast.
The move will also see a number of staff reductions as the business will be “streamlined” in the US and internationally. It is not clear how many jobs will be affected.
According to Brown, the move to abandon Newsweek in its print format is the only way to preserve its journalism and to “embrace the all-digital future”. She noted that 39% of Americans get their news from an online source, citing Pew Research Center.
“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” says Brown. “This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”
“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” adds Brown. “We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
“Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night,” says Brown. “But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year, we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose - and embrace the all-digital future.”
Newsweek merged with The Daily Beast in November 2010 to create The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, just three months after Newsweek had been sold by the Washington Post company to audio entrepreneur Sidney Harman for just $1 and an estimated $47m in assumed liabilities.
The Daily Beast attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70% increase over last year.
Jenni Baker, London