Newsweek announced this morning that their December 31st issue of the 80-year-old periodical will be their final print edition, ending an impressive reign of offline trolling. The magazine will, however, troll on in its digital form as Newsweek Global, a subscription-based international version for tablets, mobile phones, and other internet-enabled devices.
This move shouldn’t be surprising due to five primary reasons:
- Newsweek’s circulation was 1.5 million in June. It was more than double that (3.1 million) in 2007. Ouch.
- IAC/InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller said this July, in reference to the possibility of Newsweek going all-digital, “I’m not saying it will happen totally. But the transition to online from hard print will take place. We’re examining all of our options.” He also stated that the company’s investment in Newsweek and The Daily Beast would be “considerably less” in 2013.
- Digital media is the coolest. *Dislocates shoulder while patting self on back*
- As Jim Romenesko pointed out, a Newsweek staffer told David Carr this morning that “our offices have been filled with consultants running around with lists of people, so we knew something was about to happen.” (Consultants carrying lists of names are the canaries in the coal mine of print media.)
- Money. Get the money. Dollar, dollar bill y’all.
As editor-in-chief Tina Brown explains:
In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead. It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not. We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.
She adds that there will be lay-offs, so I’m going to refrain from making jokes because other writers losing their jobs makes me sad. Please accept this heartwarming photo in lieu of a punchline:
I’m feeling better already.