Digital Media Dreams, Elusive Profits

Newsweek’s online-only strategy is no panacea for a troubled brand
Illustration by Tracy Ma

On the morning of Oct. 18, shortly after publishing a Newsweek cover story entitled, “Heaven Is Real,” editor-in-chief Tina Brown informed her staff that the magazine itself would soon be joining the afterlife. In a challenging environment for print advertising, Brown explained, she and executives at Barry Diller’s IAC had decided to instead publish Newsweek Global, a digital-only magazine supported by subscriptions and targeting “a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience” that consumes news on tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. “Tablet use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution,” Brown wrote in a memo to her employees.

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