Newsweek to kill money-sucking print edition, go digital-only

Newsweek goes all-digital

After nearly 80 years, Newsweek will cease to exist as a print publication in early 2013, according to an announcement this morning from editor-in-chief Tina Brown. Instead, the company will expand its Web and mobile app offerings. The December 31 issue will be Newsweek’s last in the United States.

Founded in 1933, Newsweek’s “turn of the page,” as Brown calls it, comes just two years after its merger with Web-only outlet The Daily Beast. With the closure of Newsweek’s print edition, the publication will be renamed Newsweek Global, with a single edition created for the world market. Like The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, the majority of Newsweek Global’s content will only be available with a paid subscription, though select content will still be accessible for free on The Daily Beast. Newsweek Global will be available on e-readers, tablets, and on the Web (behind a paywall).

The transition to a digital-only comes amidst financial trouble for Newsweek, which has reportedly been losing about $40 million a year — an unnecessary cost, according to Brown, who believes readers have jumped head first into the digital era, and are ready to abandon expensive print versions of publications.

“Currently, 39 percent of Americans say they get their news from an online source, according to a Pew Research Center study released last month. In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” wrote Brown. “This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”

Of course, surging forward into the digital age means a number of Newsweek staffers will fall off the back of the wagon.

“Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally,” wrote Brown.

For those of you wanting to jump ahead of the curve, Newsweek currently offers its magazine for iOS, Android, and Kindle e-readers.