Newsweek to abandon print for web-only existence


Magazine RackLike its sister publication, iconic magazine Newsweek will soon be available on the internet only, kissing paper, stamps and magazine racks good-bye forever.

Daily Beast’s Tina Brown and Baba Shetty said that the transition will take place in early 2013. They stated, “Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.”

The duo said that selling print advertising has been challenging; meanwhile, Newsweek’s online readership has been growing. They also note that according to Pew Research, 39% of Americans use online sources for their news. They are following those trendlines.

“It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not,” wrote Brown and Shetty. We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. 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.”

They concluded saying the decision was a difficult one, but is focused on the future.

RBR-TVBR observation: The magazine herd has been thinned, but the process is not complete. The internet has wreaked havoc on all media in one way or another, but it has had an especially harsh impact on newspapers and magazines.

It seemed that many weaker magazine titles threw in the towel some time ago, making it easier for the remaining magazines to survive. But in the best of times, publications come and go, so there will always be stories like this to report.

Will Newsweek be able to make it online on a subscription basis? Frankly, we’re not holding our breath. It has the advantage of being linked with the Daily Beast, but we just aren’t aware of many online-only publications that have been able to subsist on subs.