Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Newsweekly’s Last Stand

Michael Hirschorn writes:

NEWSWEEK’S RECENT DECISION to get out of the news-digesting business and reposition itself as a high-end magazine selling in-depth commentary and reportage follows Time magazine’s emergency retrenchment along similar lines. It accelerates a process by which the 76-year-old weekly will purposely reduce its circulation from 2.7 million to a bit more than half of that. (Its circulation was nearly 3.5 million in 1988.) Likewise, Time’s circulation, which 20 years ago was close to 5 million, is now at 3.4 million. Both newsweeklies are seeking to avoid the fate of U.S. News & World Report, which after years (decades?) of semi-relevance gave up on the idea of weekly publication entirely.

These tactical retreats by Newsweek and Time are brave stabs at relevance in a changing media environment. They’re also a decade late.


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