Newsweek cuts print edition

After nearly 80 years as a weekly magazine, Newsweek will axe its print edition and go digital-only in the new year, the Washington Post reported today.

The digital-only publication will be called Newsweek Global, and paid for through paid subscriptions. Its content will also be tailored for e-readers, tablets and the Web, and some content will also appear on the Daily Beast, according to MediaGuardian.

Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, broke the news to staffers in an e-mail this morning.

“Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine – which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone – a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism,” Brown wrote.

“At the same time, our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well on The Daily Beast. Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution – a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism.”

She added that the move to an all-digital Newsweek  “comes with an unfortunate reality” – that staff cuts are expected.

Newsweek has lost about half its print readers over the past 10 years. Advertising has also gone down drastically, mirroring the industry as a whole.

The Washington Post Company owned Newsweek for more than 50 years, and sold it to Dr. Sidney Harman in 2010 for $1 and liabilities.
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