The 80-year-old weekly news magazine will be switching to a “digital-only” format starting in January 2013.
To be called Newsweek Global, the virtual magazine will be made available to subscribers via the Web, tablets, and e-readers. Some of the Newsweek content will also be available on different Web platforms maintained by The Daily Beast, the online news company it merged with in 2010.
Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek, clarified that this is just a transition for the magazine and not an end to its long history.
As today’s news audience is choosing to turn to the Internet for news and information, Brown said Newsweek needed to make this move to adapt to “the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution”.
“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,” she said. “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.”
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed that this year, 33% of Americans got their news primarily from the Internet. Newsweek’s sister company, The Daily Beast, now averages 15 million unique visitors every month.
Meanwhile, Newsweek’s circulation has dropped from 4 million in 2003 to just over 1.5 million two years ago. Print advertising revenue for Newsweek decreased by 70% from 2007 to 2011.
Along with the digital transition, staff layoffs are expected. “Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally,” Brown added.