RIP: Newsweek Print Edition

The weekly magazine announced Thursday it’s killing its print edition after 80 years. The magazine will soldier on as a digital edition for tablets and e-readers.

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.

Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.

Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night. But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future.

Which is stupid because Newsweek has a digital version already called The Daily Beast. And anyway, I would argue that there’s a huge chunk of Newsweek’s audience that isn’t on the Internet or using a tablet. Like my grandmother or even my parents who still subscribe to magazines and newspapers and watch the nightly news on TV.

Makes you wonder how long other iconic magazines that serve no purpose — Time, Rolling Stone, et al. — will last.

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