Newsweek magazine has announced that it will cease publication of its print edition and go all-digital at the end of the year, The New York Times reports.
“Tina Brown, founder of the Daily Beast Web site and the driving force behind its merger with Newsweek, announced the move on Thursday in a message on the Daily Beast co-written with Baba Shetty, the recently hired chief executive,” the paper reports.
Brown says in the message: “We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.”
She adds: “Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.”
The magazine published its first edition almost 80 years ago, on Feb. 17, 1933. The all-digital version will be offered on a paid subscription basis and will be called Newsweek Global, The Times story reports.
“Newsweek established a venerable place in the American media landscape, competing ferociously with Time magazine week in and week out to bring news to several million readers. In the pre-Internet era, before a constant stream of real-time information was available, the two magazines were viewed as among the best sources of news and analysis — an attractive product on the newsstand and a highly anticipated arrival in the mailboxes of subscribers,” the piece reports.
“But as the weekly publication cycle became outdated, both magazines struggled to adapt to the Internet age and establish a digital presence, while facing a decline in advertising and circulation.”
Newsweek’s total paid circulation went from 3,158,480 in 2001 to less than half that, 1,527,157, as of June of this year, the story reports, citing the Audit Bureau of Circulation.
“Losses at the weekly continued to mount even after the sale in 2010 to Sidney Harman, a 92-year-old audio magnate,” the report adds. “He bought the property for a dollar and eventually, with Ms. Brown, merged it with the The Daily Beast, the Web site owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp.
The future grew grimmer still after Mr. Harman died in the spring of 2011. His heirs had said they would continue to support the ailing weekly, but last summer the family announced it would no longer invest in the magazine.”
IAC Chairman Barry Diller let it be known he would not continue to underwrite losses, which have been reported to be about $40 million a year.