Friday, October 19, 2012
Newsweek Is On Hospice Care
It’s hard to believe that an iconic brand with 1.5 million weekly subscribers is going under but Newsweek magazine will no longer publish a printed version come 2013. The magazine would have turned 80 and is now, instead counting down its final issues. Call it a print hospice. Call it the death of an era.
A weekly print publication has two challenges: print publications are in decline because of the Internet. The weekly news cycle doesn’t work with free online news and commentary found on Web sites and blogs that are updated every second. Further, new readers are preferring digital to print.
Most businesses don’t become octogenarians, Newsweek, to its credit, won’t disappear, but its format clearly is changing. The all-digital version, owned by the Daily Beast, will be called Newsweek Global.
A little over a decade ago the magazine, with double its current subscriber base, battled Time and U.S. News & World Report for news weekly supremacy. Now just Time remains standing – who knows for how long.
I guess it’s not a surprise, but it’s a disappointment, to see an old friend leave your home after so many years.
I grew up reading it and enjoying its analysis, commentary, and in-depth reporting. It was a little bit like the show 60 Minutes, but in magazine form. I always preferred Time magazine, but I’d read Newsweek as well.
I bought a copy of Newsweek recently and after reading it I wondered how much longer it could publish what has become an outdated format, an ugly interior design, and a thinner content. Now I know the answer.
Newsweek is in hospice and all that can be done is to make its coming death a fast and easy one.