The venerable US weekly news magazine Newsweek announced Thursday that it would cease production of its print version at the end of the year and reconfigure the publication as an exclusively digital product.
The announcement by Newsweek editor-in-chief Tina Brown, which comes as the current affairs magazine prepares to celebrate its 80th anniversary in February, marks the latest example of the print news media’s struggles to establish a sustainable business model as advertisers continue to migrate en masse to the Internet.
“Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013,” said Brown, the founder of the online news and commentary website The Daily Beast, which merged with Newsweek two years ago. “As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.”
Brown cited the “challenging print advertising environment” as a reason for the decision to move to an exclusively digital platform, as well as a Pew Research Center study showing that 39 percent of Americans get their news online.
“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” Brown said in a statement posted at The Daily Beast, where she serves as editor-in-chief as well. “This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”
The new digital product, to be called “Newsweek Global,” will be aimed at a “highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context,” Brown said. The paid-subscription product will be available on the Internet and for e-readers, and some of the content will be available at The Daily Beast, she added.
“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,” Brown said.