After 79 years in print, Newsweek goes digital only
By Jennifer Saba and Peter Lauria
(Reuters) - Newsweek, one of the most internationally recognized magazine brands in the world, will cease publishing a print edition after nearly 80 years.
The decision to go all-digital underscores the problems faced by newsweeklies, as more consumers favor tablets and mobile devices over print in an increasingly commoditized, 24-hour news cycle.
The final print edition of the weekly current affairs magazine will hit newsstands on December 31.
The move was not unexpected given both the macro changes affecting the magazine industry and, more specifically, the comments made in July by Newsweek's owner Barry Diller, head of IAC/Interactive Corp, about the expense of producing a print magazine.
Immediately after Diller's comments, Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, wrote a post on the magazine's Tumblr page titled, "Scaremongering," that sought to downplay speculation that it would go all-digital.
But in an interview with Reuters, Brown said of the decision to shelve print, "We started discussing it very fiercely and intensely in June. It's been in the works a long time, in a sense. And today, we felt ready and absolutely committed to going the course we charted.
"When I returned to print with Newsweek, it did very quickly begin to feel to me (like) an outmoded medium," Brown continued. "While I still had a great romance for it, nonetheless I feel this is not the right medium anymore to produce journalism."
Brown held a town hall-style meeting on Thursday at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) to break the news to the company's business and editorial staff, according to sources. These sources said she treated the staff to breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Continued...