Newsweek’s last paper issue is scheduled for December 31st.
From that point all future issues will be in a digital format. For over 80 years of the usual printed format, Newsweek has decided to join the growing ebook platform.
Distribution will be in a new paid subscription service called Newsweek Global. It will be available on e-readers, tablets, and mobile phones. Newsweek (and I am sure other companies are looking to make the transition) needs to find a new financial model.
Newsweek is estimated to make a loss of 22M this year, predominately due to falling advertising costs. It lost 16% of its advertisers in 2011 and a further 20% in 2010. Its parent IOC, which owns College Humor, Ask, and Match.com, are very conversant with pure digital distribution.
Tina Brown (Editor of Newsweek) said in a letter, “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. The inexorable move to an all-digital Newsweek comes with an unfortunate reality. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the United States and internationally.”
Personally I think that Tina’s letter will be viewed and copied by many other companies over the next few years. Many companies will try to maintain the paper print domain and to a degree I can understand, but as quickly as times are a changing, we all have to adapt alongside them or get left behind.
Time will tell.