Feeds

Newsweek succumbs to ad slippage, will kill print pub

Bets its future on fondleslab subscribers

Boost IT visibility and business value

Citing "the challenging print advertising environment," Newsweek – which will turn 80 next year – has announced that it is canning its print publication and transforming itself into a single, worldwide digital edition, Newsweek Global.

"Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013," wrote The Newsweek Daily Beast Company editor-in-chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty in a joint statement. "As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue."

The plan is to support Newsweek Global through paid subscriptions, and to make it available on the web and in fondleslab editions available through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio, and Nook stores.

The Daily Beast launched in October 2008, and acquired Newsweek in November 2010 after The Washington Post sold it in August of that year to the now-deceased audio pioneer and philanthropist Sidney Harman for one dollar. That deal was not as sweet, however, as it might seem: Harman agreed to assume $47m in Newsweek liabilities.

"Since the merger," Brown and Shetty write, "both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process."

Note that word "online" – paper-based publications are under the gun these days, facing increasing costs and declining revenues. As Brown and Shetty explain, "our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek's online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience."

The statement puts a brave face on the change to the all-digital Newsweek Global. "We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," it reads. "We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents."

That said, job cuts are coming. "Regrettably," the statement admits, "we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the US and internationally."

Whether the venerable print publication can make the transition to a paid-subscription business model that takes advantage of what the company calls "swift, easy digital distribution" remains to be seen. Many have tried, and those that are currently succeeding – The New York Times, The Financial Times, Barron's, and The Wall Street Journal, for example – tend to have either a relatively well-heeled subscriber base or provide specific market information, with a good portion of their subscriptions presumably paid for by businesses rather than individuals.

Rupert Murdoch's mass-market all-digital attempt, The Daily, for example, hasn't exactly set the world on fire. It cut 50 staffers just this August, despite News Corp's deep pockets and a much-ballyhooed rollout in February 2011.

Perhaps Newsweek's transition to all-digital distribution was inevitable – but Newsweek Global's success certainly isn't. ®

Bootnote

File Vanity Fair's response to the Newsweek news under "Kick 'em when they're down." In a Thursday blog post discussing the transition, that high-minded publication wrote, "Pairing stock images and incendiary statements at random and slapping them on the cover did not, in the end, turn out to be a business-saving publishing model." It also ridiculed Newsweek's attempts at enticing readers, saying, "Are you a person who is likely to buy a magazine if you see a photograph of a woman pantomiming oral sex with a root vegetable on its cover?" Meow, indeed.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?