Newsweek, the struggling 79-year-old newsweekly, said it plans to drop its print edition to become digital-only by the end of the year, the company said Thursday. Watch for Newsweek to be followed by many other magazines. So far, these money losing publicationshave been shrinking staff and pages, hoping for a rebound in advertising. Magazines have a bright future, but not when it comes to the printed word.
Who else could go digital? Look two big companies – Hearst and Time Inc. to trim the number of print title they publish. Also under pressure is the business category, most notablyForbes Magazine. It was long a leader in ad pages, leading the business magazine category for years. During the 1990s, the magazine was so thick with advertising that it resembled a small phone book. But Forbes, like most magazines, has been struggling the past 10 years. The print magazine advertising market will probably never see the kind it enjoyed during the 1980s and 1990s.
Newsweek’s decision to drop its print edition follows a decision by the family of the late Sidney Harman to withdraw its financial support. Harman is the billionaire who two years ago bought the ailing newsweekly and later merged it with IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s the Daily Beast.
Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown broke the news about Newsweek on the publication’s sister website, the Daily Beast. Newsweek’s Dec. 31 issue in the U.S. will be the last print edition. “Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context,” the company said.