Skip to comments.Newsweek Dies (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 12/29/2009 7:19:47 AM PST by abb
Less than a year ago, during yet another public discussion about the future of traditional media, I said that it seemed extremely unlikely that, for instance, Newsweek would last another five years, provoking guffaws among blogger types and stout denials from the magazine (i.e. a minor kerfuffle).
Newsweek and its parent, the Washington Post Co., announced yesterday a significant cut in its rate base, a further round of buyouts and layoffs, and a plan to make an already anorexic magazine even thinner. The Washington Post Co., for good measure, added its own bad news and bleak outlook.
My prediction about Newsweek seems to have been significantly optimistic (when I made it, I confess to thinking it was irresponsibly exaggerated). I would revise it now to two years: Sometime around the fourth quarter of next year, Newsweek will be shuttered (possibly theres a phase where it goes bi-weekly, or even monthly).
The people at Newsweek and at the Washington Post Co. will be as adamant and dismissive about denying this as they were about my original assertion. And yet, they obviously cant be certain they have a positive future (or any future).
All they can honestly say is that they are trying to find a way to go forward that will keep them in business, but they havent found it yet. Now, I am not sure that would be a good idea to sayit might further cause advertisers and readers to desert the magazine, and further demoralize the staff.
On the other hand, it might be this gap between putting on a good face and the stark reality of the present mess that is making people so much more desperate and crazy. Not that long ago, the covers of Newsweek and Time were among the most important individual pieces of media in the nation. Now they are irrelevant and unmentioned.
This decline and approaching death does not merely have to do with the present circumstance. The present circumstance (we have yet to coin a useful and evocative name for this terrible present circumstance) is really just the deus ex machina.
The weak and lingering will no longer be able to resist. But how do you confront this? How do you say to your colleagues and your customers, while were still here today, in all honesty were toast tomorrow?
Saying anything other than that is so obviously corporate baloney, as well as the natural human inability to face the abyss.
Dies? Isn’t this a bit premature? It is still on the shelves.
It’ll come from TARP. Just wait and see ...
Not one tear shed from me...was the first magazine subscription I got when I got out of college and the first one I canceled not long after.
Wolff gives it 18 months or so.
Just like LIFE magazine is “still around.”
This is where Time, Incorporated has an edge--they are already well on their way to doing this and we will see by fall 2010 most of their magazines in the electronic magazine format designed for devices like Apple's new tablet computer, devices like the new netbook that runs Chrome OS, or running on desktops/laptops using a free reader program.
Call me a cynic. The New York Times has been “at death’s door” for years now and it still continues to exist. I won’t believe “death” until I see it.
Interview: Author Ben Johnson Speaks Sam Zell’s Mind
No more covers of Obama? What will he do?
What I meant to say was weekly Newsweek will die off but the masthead will never completely disappear. Time puts out a LIFE edition every year or so, aimed at the supermarket checkout trade. Washington Post will probably do the same.
Remember, the purpose of any newspaper or magazine is to make money for the people who own the newspaper or magazine. Forget all the altruistic “truth, justice and the American way” BS. Media is about money. No readers, no reward.
It's the BUSINESS MODEL that is dead. No one is going to spend $ to cut down trees using gas powered chainsaws, spoil the landscape, drive the mods to the pulp mill, pollute everything in sight making paper (and create a horrible stench,) then drive the blank paper to a plant where they will put carcinogous ink on it, then drive it to your house, just so you can get a 6 hour to 6 day old far-left liberals' views of the world.
It's not just that the fat Lady is getting ready to sing. She has sung, retired, and moved to St. Petersburg, where she plays canasta and shuffleboard, and lives with the long ceased-publication St. Petersburg Evening Independent.
These organs of liberal agitprop cannot die fast or soon enough to please me. What sort of work are the unemployed journalists of these noisome rags fitted to do post-bankruptcy and collapse? Shoveling cattle manure comes to mind, but there's only a sprinkling of those jobs to go around.
And maybe we're cheering too soon. The Obamassiah has floated the possibility of tax breaks and subsidies to keep his tattered and decaying print media cheering section in bid'ness.
Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, et al, will be on government life support soon, i.e. TARP or some other phony name to keep their fan club afloat. Freedom of the Press will be subjected to Freedom of the Purse. Print what I want to read or the money will stop. Works for the government better than for the people. The fourth estate is no longer the watchdog of government, but the lapdog. The lib commies will conjure up some penumbra to cover the cost of bailing out the presses like “Freedom of the Press Act of 2010”, then dole out the dollars to their now conjoined fellows at the helms of these formerly private publications. Freedom of the Pre$$, my A$$!...............
Couldn’t happen to a nicer buch of elitist lying fawning white guilt media types.
Maybe that's the real reason they felt they had to put Sarah Palin and her beautiful legs on the cover. Pure sex appeal play to boost sales and stay alive. Demeaning her in a sexist way was just icing on the cake.
And that great Conservative pundit Joe Scarborough has the Newsweak editor on his radio show every week. It’s the reason I gave up on Joe (one of many, really).
The Obama administration will find a way to keep them afloat. Newsweek, after all, is a valuable part of their propaganda machine.
It's not the format that is the problem.
Its the abject, rampant, rabid liberal bias, 0bamabot bias , anti-Republican hate, anti-conserrvative hate, anti-Plain hate that is the problem.
It's irrelevant what format they put Newsweek or Time on, conservatives still won't buy it.
Meanwhile, the more objective Wall Street Journal actually registered an INCREASE in circulation this year, making it the largest circulation newspaper in the country, even in the midst of a recession.
Being an 0bamabot rent boy is bad for your ratings/circulation/financial health, no matter what format it comes in. That is why Fox News ratings have shot up this year, even as MSNBC and CNN have registered huge ratings collapse.
LOL! There are a LOT of union employees lurking in or near that sentence.
Ummm.. did you read the article at all?
The New York Times continues to exist like a guy in a coma continues to exist.
Just getting fed, sleeping and breathing every day, while lying prone in bed is not what I'd call really living.
And how is that “bailout” working out for General Motors then? No amount of TARP is going to save a bad business.
And what do they propose to do when we take over the Huose next year?
they should just revive Look (since the whole mag is nothing but pictures of Obama anyway)
WSJ, IBD, National Review, and American Spectator
They can’t go under soon enough for me.
In that case the name "Newsweek" is no longer appropriate.
How about something like "Spewsweek"?
Oprah will start sharing the cover of O Magazine with Obama.
But that might only last a few months, until her magazine folds too.It’ll be interesting, now that I think of it, to watch what happens to her magazine once her show no longer rules TVLand.
The Times lost $.30 per share over the last 12 months. The longer the Times continues to consume the wealth of the silk stocking leisure class before it dies, the better off America will be.
Can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to buy the Obama magazine. /s
Washington just CAN’T let one of their propaganda organs die! They will breathe life back into it — from the massive slush funds or a new “media bailout package,” or something.... They MUST have herr Goebbels tools...
“Pure sex appeal play to boost sales and stay alive”.
-——yeah, that’s probably the way they saw it , but it
turned out more like “killing two stones with one bird”,
as it backfired, and you can figure out who or what exactly who owned those “two stones”.
Gosh, what will Fareed Zakaria do now?
As a clueless highschool student decades ago, both TIME and NEWSWEEK were my handy sources of footnote material for all kinds of “social studies” papers. They reigned supreme all through the 60s and 70s amongst those looking for just that kind of E-Z Guide to world realities. Even then they were crap. NOW, just replaying the words of Evan Thomas earlier this year, you can see how deeply they’ve fallen into that big steaming pile of crap they’ve made of themselves.
It’s going to die because the new format and content, announced earlier this year, was DOA. Because while the official approach was to be more balanced opinion, in reality the mag just turned farther left. So, it got no new readers from the center or right.
I used to read Newsweek religiously as a young man. Now I refuse to even buy an airport copy because I don’t want to add even one iota to their circulation totals. I’ll only glance at it in the doctor’s office and even then I have to hold my nose.
These media types crack me up....just go back to business 101....any business plan or product that automatically alienates 50% of your potential customers is doomed to failure....can’t make it clearer than that
What will Keith Olbermann do for guests? Half his guests he introduces as either current Newsweek or former Newsweek icons....
Well said !
What that jackass does has as much importance in the general scheme of things as what Newsweek prints on it's pages.
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