Newsweek to Exit Print in December

Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 10:22 AM

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Newsweek will cease to be a print publication with its Dec. 31 issue, abandoning the “romance of print” to “embrace the all-digital future.” The withdrawal after 80 years in print leaves the field of in print weekly news magazines to Time.

Tina Brown, editor of the magazine, made the announcement on the website of the Daily Beast, which merged with Newsweek in 2010.

We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast,” she said in a joint statement with The Newsweek Daily Beast Company CEO Baba Shetty. “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.

“Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.”

The new publication will be named Newsweek Global and will be a single, worldwide paid subscription edition available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web. Some content will also be available on the The Daily Beast site.

The newsweekly field of magazines was once dominated by Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report, three publications that sold millions of copies a week to subscribers and on newsstands. U.S. News largely abandoned the print field two years ago.

Newsweek had been owned for years by The Washington Post, which sold it to billionaire Sidney Harman for $1. The publication was later merged with The Daily Beast. The announcement ending print editions notes that layoffs are likely.

“It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not,” the announcement said. “We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not 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.

“Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally."

Brown said that 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. 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.”

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