by Nora Bosworth
Some day, you can explain to your children or grandchildren that Newsweek was once a printed paper.
The Newsweek Daily Beast Company’s founding editor-in-chief, Tina Brown, announced Thursday that Newsweek’s last print edition will run on December 31. The digital format will take over in early 2013, with staff reductions expected.
Newsweek’s decision comes after 80 years of print.
“This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever,” Brown said. “It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
The online version will be called Newsweek Global and accessible via paid subscription only. It will aim to cover “world events in a sophisticated context,” as did its tree-born counterpart. Brown’s announcement was largely an explanation of the company’s decision. In it she cited a study that the Pew Research Center released last month, showing that 39% of Americans say they get their news online. She added that this number will only rise in the coming years.
Brown’s statement struck a sentimental note towards the end, as she concluded:
“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.”
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