As I’ve written in the past, I’ve been a long time Newsweek subscriber. The publication has evolved, congruent with the ascendance of new editors, but no more dramatic change has occurred than when Tina Brown took the helm.
Newsweek, essentially, became The Daily Beast, a different animal than what traditional Newsweek readers and subscribers sought. The change, made ever more dramatic by changes to the look and style of the publication, ultimately made us discontinue our subscription, after more than 15 years of weekly cover-to-cover reading.
News this week is that the URL newsweek.com will no longer exist; that all the content will be found on The Daily Beast’s site.
Starting July 19, we hear, newsweek.com will no longer exist. Instead that URL will redirect users to a channel on the Daily Beast site, like its current “politics,” “entertainment,” and “fashion” verticals. The Newsweek channel will still have all the archived magazine content from before (unlike Time, Newsweek puts all of its print content online), and it will be edited and updated once a day to rotate features. Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown and Chief Digital Officer Daniel Blackman decided it made the most sense to have all-new non-magazine content appear on the Beast homepage.
What does this mean for the printed edition? Will it continue to be mailed, added to newsstands and archived in libraries? Unlikely. I predict a short life span for the printed pages from here on out. This may be outstanding news for Newsweek’s arch rival Time, but the days of printed news, delivered weekly are days gone by. News happens too fast for weeklies to be relevant, and its no surprise to me that this is where we’re landing.
What do you think? Are you a Newsweek or Time reader or subscriber? Will you, if you have read the printed magazines, read the same content online instead? Do you already?
My parents were Newsweek subscribers, and I have been one my entire adult life. LIke you, I have been dismayed by the changes in the Tina Brown era. Most of the content is opinion columns or fluff, which while they may be enlightening, are not why I read a weekly news magazine. I want balanced, in-depth coverage and investigative reporting of important topics. That Diana cover story was hypothetical fiction and I could not finish reading it (and only started to read it out of professional curiosity). They should simply change the name to The Daily Beast and let the long-term subscribers off the hook and develop a new base of subscribers for what they are now offering. I can’t help but say “What were they thinking?”
I differ with you on your opinion that news is now transmitted so quickly that weekly news magazines are now irrelevant. Instead, I think we need them now more than ever, because they can do the sort of thoughtful, in-depth reporting that is missing from the breathless reporting of cable news, the wonderful immediacy of Twitter, and the daily deadlines of newspapers.