Newsweek Resumes Print Edition

Monday, 03 Mar 2014 07:51 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Newsweek will resume publishing a print edition after a 15-month hiatus, The New York Times reported.

The magazine is currently published online by IBT Media, which purchased the struggling newsweekly.

IBT, which now has 240 employees, was founded by Etienne Uzac, 30, and Johnathan Davis, 31. 

They have been able to substantially increase Newsweek's online traffic by crafting articles based on what their data tell them people want to read. IBT has made about $500,000 in profit on annual revenues of $21 million generated mostly through digital advertising.

In addition to Newsweek, IBT publishes other titles, including Latin Times and Medical Daily. The company says its various platforms generate 40 million unique monthly visitors.

Uzac said he had originally understood that a print magazine was not feasible, but then he did research and concluded that IBT "could sell some copies for significantly more than it cost to make."

"You would pay only if you don't want to read anything on a backlit screen," Uzac said. "It is a luxury product," he told The Times.

Media experts said a print version was a good way to promote the online core product, The Times reported.

"For Newsweek, having a cover can have its advantages," Steven Cohn, editor in chief of the Media Industry Newsletter, told The Times. "Celebrities and politicians like being on actual covers on the newsstand. They have stripped the costs way down. So really, what do they have to lose?"

Newsweek was founded in 1933 and financed by the Astor and Mellon families. It was purchased by The Washington Post Co. in 1961. By 2010, the magazine was losing $30 million a year and was sold to 91-year-old Sidney Harman for a dollar.

Neither Harman nor subsequent owner Barry Diller — who stopped the print edition after hiring Tina Brown to edit the magazine — were able to make a go of the product. It was sold to Uzac and Davis in the summer of 2013.

The magazine is currently edited by veteran newsman Jim Impoco.
Newsweek will print 70,000 copies – a far cry from the 3.3 million magazines that came off the presses 20 years ago. The newsstand price will be $7.99 each.

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