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Newsweek Says Goodbye to Print Edition after 80 Years
The writing had been on the wall for print newspapers and magazines in general for about 10 years. Year after year sales have been on the decline and many of the have seen their readership migrate to purely online consumption.
Many are now launching online versions to run alongside their print editions and a few are getting out of print entirely. The latest victim of the internet is Newsweek, the American weekly news magazine that has been around since 1933. Still one of the biggest selling weekly magazines, Newsweek has seen consistent declines in print sales and so the decision has been taken to go digital exclusively.
Effective 2013, Newsweek will only be delivered in a single global edition, a move that its publishers hope will rescue the weekly from the last few years of losses. Those losses have been so significant that the company itself has had to scale back, ultimately laying off 160 of its workers.
Is this the end of print news?
Newsweek’s decision to cease its print edition will be seen as the beginning of the end for print newspapers, but that is perhaps only true for newspapers that and magazines that cater to a sophisticated and wealthy audience. The types of people who buy Newsweek are able to buy iPads and iPhones; but there is still a huge chunk of people who don’t have that level of sophistication with how they consume news. There are still millions of people who rely on print newspapers to keep an eye on what is going on in the world. For this group, there is still many more years before online consumption takes hold.
Newsweek following the advertising dollars
While many will be sad to hear that Newsweek will no longer arrive on their doorstep, loyalists can take heart in the fact that the ‘culture’ of Newsweek has only migrated online. The company merged with The Daily Beast back in 2010 and since then the partnership has helped to turn things round at the company. Tina Brown editor-in-chief of the newly formed entity believes that the merger was a prudent move: “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 through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast.”
CEO Baba Shetty is even more optimistic about the move online: “Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution—a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism. By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.”
Newsweek’s wealthy readership will no doubt help keep the brand alive online so in this instance, the end of a print edition is not a bad thing. Let’s see who else makes the decision to move online exclusively.