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Newsweek to end print edition, to go all-digital

Last Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 21:34

New York: Struggling American news magazine Newsweek will end its 80-year-old run in print this year to go all digital, in what was described by its editor-in-chief as a `turn of the page` for the publication.

The iconic US weekly announced today that it is adopting an all-digital format beginning next year as it adjusts its business model to the "challenging" print advertising environment and focusses on expanding its online readership through tablets and e-books.

The transition will also lead to job cuts as the publication cuts down its redundant staff.

The venerable US publication, founded in 1933, said its last print edition would be the December 31 issue before it transitions into an all-digital format in early 2013.
The all-digital publication will be named `Newsweek Global` and would be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a "highly mobile, opinion-leading audience".

The online content would be accessible through paid subscription and be available through e-readers for both tablet and the web.

The publication said "regrettably" there will be staff reductions and streamlining of editorial and business operations in the US and internationally.

"Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and 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," editor-in- chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty said in a message posted on the Daily Beast today.

Brown said Daily Beast`s business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment while the growing number of Apple and Kindle users have helped drive Newsweek`s online audience.

Print publications in the US have been struggling to cope with loss in advertising revenue and declining circulation as readers migrate to digital platforms.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, Newsweek had a total paid circulation of 3.1 million in 2001 but this had fallen by half to 1.5 million in June this year.

"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," Brown said.

According to a Pew Research Center study released last month, 39 per cent of Americans get their news from an online source. By the end of 2013, tablet users in the US alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.

The Daily Beast was launched four years ago and two years later, it merged with Newsweek. Since the merger, the Daily Beast attracted more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 per cent increase in the past year alone.
The Washington Post sold Newsweek to California billionaire Sidney Harman for a dollar in 2010.


First Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 21:33

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