MANILA, Philippines – The weekly international news magazine Newsweek will soon stop printing as it adopts an all-digital format.
“Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue,” Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company and CEO Baba Shetty, said in a joint statement published on The Daily Beast website on Thursday.
The new all-digital publication will be named Newsweek Global and will be supported by paid subscription. It will be available on both tablet and the web with select content available on The Daily Beast.
The shift marks the end of Newsweek magazine which is marking its 80th anniversary next year. The magazine was sold by The Washington Post Company and two years ago was merged with The Daily Beast, which the statement said now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month with “a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.”
“Our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast. Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution—a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism,” the statement said.
It noted that tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.
Moreover, according to a Pew Research Center study released last month, 39% of Americans say they get their news from an online source.
“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead,” the statement said.
The statement also clarified that the shift is a “digital transition” and does not mean the end of Newsweek.
“We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. 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,” it said.
“Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the 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,” it added.