Funeral rites in N.Y. and D.C. for ‘Newsweek,’ as Tina Brown declares the ‘Zeitgeist was against’ it

Newsweek, fading away. ()
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Veterans of Newsweek, which will cease to exist in print after the end of the year, are planning two "celebrations" of the magazine as it prepares to make the transition to a digital-only format in 2013.

The first is scheduled for Dec. 2 during an annual brunch convened by alumni of the Newsweek Washington bureau. The brunch is being billed this year as "a celebration of the greatness of our late, beloved Newsweek print edition," according to an email invitation from longtime Newsweek correspondent Rich Thomas that was obtained by Capital.

The second will take place on Monday, Jan. 14 at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism.

"Come raise a final toast to Newsweek," reads the invitation, which also promises "Plentiful Hors d’oeuvres/Wine/Beer."

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The Jan. 14 event is being organized by Dave Friedman, who was an editor at Newsweek from 1976 to 2008. We're told the invite was sent wide to Newsweek staffers of old, including former bigs like Ann McDaniel and Evan Thomas.

Meanwhile, current staffers of Newsweek and its online sister publication, The Daily Beast, are bracing for a round of cuts that has been planned ahead of the digital transition, which will spawn a subscription-based online and mobile title called Newsweek Global.

On an earnings call several weeks ago for the publications' parent publisher, I.A.C., chairman Barry Diller said the company was trying to make the cuts as "spare and as positively" as possible. The newsroom has been whispering about a list of employees who stand to lose their jobs in the culling.

On Monday, New York will publish a lengthy interview that Newsweek-Daily Beast editor Tina Brown recently gave to Michael Kinsley, in which she "reflects on the demise of the magazine she was hired to save," according to a spokesperson for New York.

"Every piece of the Zeitgeist was against Newsweek," Brown told Kinsley.