Newsweek Goes Digital
Newsweek recently announced that it will be going digital-only in 2013, debuting as “Newsweek Global.” The new online magazine would be available through paid subscriptions and could be read on both tablets and online. They would also have certain content available on The Daily Beast.
Newsweek has had a rough time the last few years. The Washington Post Company found itself having to sell Newsweek for one dollar plus the assumption of their $40 million-plus debt. Later on the magazine was left in the hands of Tina Brown, who is an editor for The Daily Beast, and Barry Diller from InterActiveCorp.
The magazine had been faced with a dramatic plunge in sales and ad pages. It started printing controversial content in hopes that it would once again attract people and advertisers. At one point the magazine even had a print cover claiming that President Barack Obama was the first gay president in the history of the United States. Unfortunately for the magazine, these efforts had little effect at the newsstands and sales continued to plummet.
Editor Tina Brown wrote in her memo that Newsweek simply cannot handle “the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution” every week, which is made even more difficult by the fact that sales are not helping. Of course, discontinuing their print issues means that there will be staff reductions.
For the last few years there have been some who say that this is the beginning of the end for print. However, this is most likely just one company out of many that failed. Publications like Time and The New Yorker are still available as both print and electronic news. There are even some magazines who got their start online and are still fairly successful, showing that there is indeed hope for publications who find themselves having to go digital-only.
Read Tina Brown’s memo
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