In what must be one of the most high-profile moves away from print, the US magazine Newsweek, is moving entirely to digital editions.
In a statement Newsweek said that it would cease print publication at the end of the year and move to an all-digital format. It is not clear how many staff will be made redundant by the move.
The staff remaining will publish a digital magazine called Newsweek Global. Readers will continue to pay for Newsweek. Some Newsweek articles will appear on The Daily Beast, which will continue as a free Web site.
The death of the print edition will help stem Newsweek’s estimated $40 million in annual losses. Newsweek has been on the news agents stands since 1933 and has been the sworn enemy of Time magazine.
A company spokesman said that the move was inevitable. But word on the street was that there were all sorts of rows in the news room as the Internet and magazine businesses were integrated. Despite her best efforts to take a flagging product and rejuvenate it failed.
Many of the problems began in 2010 when Newsweek was sold by the Washington Post Company for a dollar and merged with The Daily Beast. The blending of the two brands failed, in part because no real integration took place. The print operation was kept in the 1980s and the young people at The Daily Beast were shut out.
The print circulation peaked in 1991 at 3.3 million but was down to 1.5 million in June. While advertising pages and revenue grew modestly, it brought in a fraction of the money earned by rivals like Time. Also, Newsweek has not had the resources that benefit magazines like Time.
Many other magazines are likely to suffer Newsweek’s fate as print operations get expensive and advertising moves to the net.