Newsweek’s print edition is about to hit newsstands for the final time after rolling off the presses for almost 80 years. The publication will continue as a subscription-based mobile app and web magazine called Newsweek Global.
Newsweek tweeted its final December 31 cover on Sunday, showing a full-page black and white photo of its former Newsweek offices which the organization vacated in the mid-’90s. It goes with the hashtagged headline “#LastPrintIssue”, seemingly a nod to its all-digital future or simply an attempt to create some Twitter buzz.
The venerable news magazine announced its decision to scrap its printed offering in October following reports that the company was losing somewhere in the region of $40 million annually.
Explaining the move in a piece titled A Turn of the Page for Newsweek, editor Tina Brown wrote, “We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents.”
She continued, “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.”
A tie-up with web-based news site The Daily Beast in 2011 saw online traffic to its joint site increase markedly as a result. A selection of Newsweek articles are available on the free Daily Beast site, while entire digital editions are currently available – for a fee – to those with iOS, Android, Kindle and Nook devices.
Earlier this month it was reported The Daily Beast was examining the idea of introducing a metered access model that would allow readers to view a number of articles for free before requiring payment for continued access, a move that would no doubt come as a big disappointment to its mass of followers.
For Newsweek, the decision to change was simple – with more and more readers going online to seek out its journalism, a print-edition readership half of what it was 20 years ago and costs spiraling out of control there really was only one way to go.
On Sunday Brown tweeted, “Bitter sweet! Wish us luck!”