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Newsweek For Sale Again; Sold Last Time for Only $1

Image: Newsweek For Sale Again; Sold Last Time for Only $1

By    |   Wednesday, 29 May 2013 02:04 PM

Newsweek is again for sale.

IAC/InterActive Corp., which began publishing an online edition exclusively this year, is seeking buyers interested in the 80-year-old magazine, according to multiple reports.

The offering comes less than a month after the debut of the redesigned Newsweek.com. An IAC spokeswoman had no comment.

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The purchase price is expected to be similar to when investor Sidney Harman bought the magazine from the Washington Post Co. for $1, along with the assumption of all liabilities, according to Variety. IAC received its Newsweek stake after a 2010 merger with the Daily Beast, through an agreement with Harman.

Newsweek's first issue arrived Feb. 17, 1933. It showed images of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler, and sold for 10 cents, or $4 a year. More than 80 decades later, the digital tablet edition, with "metered" Internet access, sells subscriptions for $2.99 per month.

The final domestic print issue hit newsstands Dec. 31, 2012, showing the publication’s New York City headquarters.

At its height, Newsweek was the second-largest U.S. weekly news magazine, behind Time. It's been published in four English language editions and 12 global editions. Though it transformed to a news reporting and opinion website on Jan. 4, 2013, a print edition is still available in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The purchase hasn't gone well. In the quarter that ended March 31, IAC reported an operating loss of $8.8 million in its media group — which includes the combined entities of Newsweek and the Daily Beast — an increase from $6.7 million in the same quarter last year.

Newsweek's main problem has been a decline from 1.5 million subscribers in the quarter before it ended its print edition to 470,000 in the first quarter of this year, with bleak estimates for the rest of the year.

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Online traffic declined from 2.9 million unique visitors in January, to 1.9 million last month, according to The Washington Post, citing those who have seen the numbers.

Last month, IAC Chairman and Senior Executive Barry Diller told Bloomberg TV that the purchase of Newsweek was “a mistake” and a “fool’s errand if that magazine is a news weekly.” He praised the journalists who work there, but said he didn’t have “great expectations” for the digital version.

Those fears seem to have been realized.

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Newsweek is again for sale. IAC/InterActive Corp., which began publishing an online edition exclusively this year, is seeking buyers interested in the 80-year-old magazine, according to multiple reports.
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Wednesday, 29 May 2013 02:04 PM
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