Newsweek to cease print edition

Lack of advertising revenue and rise of internet force 79-year-old US current affairs magazine to go all-digital.

    Newsweek to cease print edition
    Newsweek is the second largest US news weekly magazine, but declining circulation saw it fall into losses [GALLO/GETTY]

    US magazine Newsweek has announced it will end its print publication after nearly 80 years and is set to become an online publication by early 2013.

    The decision to go all-digital, disclosed in a blog post on its companion website The Daily Beast on Thursday, is indicative of the shift to media consumption on digital devices such as tablets and mobile phones and underscores the problems faced by newsweeklies in an increasingly commoditised, 24-hour news cycle.

    The last US print edition of Newsweek will be its December 31 issue.

    "This decision is now 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." 

    - Tina Brown, editor-in-chief

    The announcement of the change was made by Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co, and Baba Shetty, its CEO.

    "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," Brown said in the announcement.

    "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.

    "This decision is now 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."

    Brown said staff cuts at Newsweek are expected, but did not give a specific figure. She also said that Newsweek's editorial and print operations would be streamlined in the US and abroad.

    Newsweek has not been doing well for years, as people do not want to wait a week to read commentary and news digests of big stories, given a flood of instant content available online.

    Mounting losses prompted The Washington Post Company in 2010 to sell Newsweek for $1 to stereo equipment magnate Sidney Harman. Harman died the following year.

    Before he died, he placed Newsweek into a joint venture with IAC/InterActiveCorp's The Daily Beast website in an effort to trim the magazine's losses and widen its online audience.

    Brown and Shetty said the all-digital publication will be called Newsweek Global and will be a single, worldwide edition that requires a paid subscription.

    It will be available for tablets and website reading, with certain content available on The Daily Beast website. "We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," they wrote.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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