As you know, Newsweek has decided to end its print edition. We’re sad about it, but not everyone is. Below is a sampling of what people are saying about an icon going dark.
I tweeted earlier today that I was going to be “ruminating” about the death of Newsweek and someone suggested that I ‘ruminate’ instead on the decline of ”News with a capital ‘N.”Well I have, and I don’t believe for a minute that one equals the other. We want to do excellent reporting and writing; the best way to honor a place such as Newsweek is to seek to match what it did in both.
Critics suggested that Brown had lost her touch, but in fact the game had changed, and she was trying to do the impossible. Brown realized that the media ecosystem favored viral images, and her covers spread on blogs and the social web. But they failed to carry the cover stories, or the magazine, with them.
Brown says that Newsweek will carry on in digital form as a “global platform” available on tablets and online. This is bullshit. Ask Rupert Murdoch how tablet-based news outlets perform. You will not read Newsweek in 2013 or thereafter. You will see some Newsweek-branded stories, but they will be Daily Beast stories. There was a conceivable point in maintaining different identities for Newsweek and the Daily Beast when there was print ad revenue to be harvested. There’s no point now.
Imagine a 747 flying between two flush and populous metropolises. Call them Newsweekly Reader City and Advertiser City, if you wish. Now imagine if both cities enter a prolonged recession, as both experience a massive exodus. Over time, you have the same huge expensive infrastructure serving two metros whose wealth and population have collapsed. What happens next? You don’t exactly need McKinsey to come in and tell you: ‘We’re gonna need a smaller plane.’
George Janson, managing partner, director of print for GroupM, the media buying arm for the worlds largest ad agency WPP Plc, said when his firm considers placing ads they do so based on the title, not on a so-called ‘category’ such as newsweeklies.
‘There are a lot of vital (weeklies) that have done a remarkable job expanding their brand,’ he said, citing the New Yorker, the Economist, the Week and Time. ‘I think the situation with Newsweek is that they lost their way editorially. I think advertisers began to loose faith,’ he said.