3:04 pm Oct. 18, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
Let's not pretend there's any bigger media news today. Here are some things you should read about the death of Newsweek.
Tina Brown tells The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey of the decision to kill Newsweek's print edition and go digital-only:
We have been exploring it since June in a very aggressive way, because all the industry trends have told us that it was only a question of when, not if…. It became increasingly important to us to embrace our future rather that just keep talking about it.
Newsweek/Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan thinks ditching print is a smart idea, albeit a challenging one:
When asked my opinion at Newsweek about print and digital, I urged taking the plunge as quickly as possible. Look: I chose digital over print 12 years ago, when I shifted my writing gradually online, with this blog and now blogazine. Of course a weekly newsmagazine on paper seems nuts to me. But it takes guts to actually make the change. An individual can, overnight. An institution is far more cumbersome.
Felix Salmon, well, not so much:
Newsweek is going to have to suffer a painful and lingering death. There’s no way that first-rate journalists are going to have any particular desire to write for this doomed and little-read publication, especially if their work is stuck behind a paywall. At the margin, it will certainly be better to work for the Beast than for Newsweek: the supposedly “premium” arm will in reality be the bit which smells like old age and irrelevance. It’s not going to work. So, really. Why even bother?
"Don't blame Tina Brown," says BuzzFeed's Kevin T. Lincoln, blame the system:
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.
Michael Wolff thinks Tina Brown really has a good shot at pulling this thing off. (Kidding!):
There's a lot of stuff being said by Newsweek's current editor, Tina Brown, about the brand continuing, and digital this and that, and the future being rosy, albeit different … but that's all bunk. There isn't any publishing professional who hasn't known for, well, at least four years, that Newsweek was over, kaput, finished. What is most amazing and preposterous is that anyone would have made the effort to pretend otherwise.
Howard Fineman waxes nostalgic for the Newsweek of old:
In its prime, which lasted an astonishingly long time -- from the early 1960s to the mid-2000s -- Newsweek was as innovative, eminent and influential as any news organization in America or the world. Not every week, every issue or every story, but overall.
The impact of a newsmagazine was cumulative and even glacial -- measured in decades not years, weeks or daily news cycles. The game, at heart, was to comprehend vast, historical cultural and political changes before others did, and document them in detail.
And what about the other news magazines? Via Adweek:
Ad pages for the overall news magazine category (including Newsweek, Time, The Economist, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Fortune, Forbes, Businessweek and The Week) dropped from 18,000 pages in 2006 to a projected 10,000 pages in 2012, per PIB. No surprise, then, that niche titles are trying to survive by buttressing their print ad revenue with other income.
In other news...
Tim Armstrong says Patch will turn a profit this year. [The Guardian]
What The New York Times is doing in Brazil. [Nieman Journalism Lab]
Jill Abramson's responses to reader questions are in. [The New York Times]
Arthur Sulzberger Jr.: "Rupert does his own thing." [Poynter]
Sally Singer is back at Vogue. [W.W.D.]
More by this author:
- Ahead of an avalanche, the 'Times' reminds us this new thing is theirs, and it's called a 'Snow Fall'
- What is this new Twitter 'Amplify,' you ask?