Friday, April 4, 2008

Wall St. Journal looks at "what's next for newsmagazines?"

In a Wall St. Journal report on changes affecting major U.S. newsweeklies, here are some interesting take-aways:
  • Time and Newsweek are trying "to reinvent themselves yet again.
  • About a year ago, Time redesigned the print and website versions of the magazine. Richard Stengel, editor, told the Journal, "My whole view was there's more information out there than in human history. What people don't need more of is information. They need a guide through the chaos."
  • Newsweek, on the other hand, is increasing the quotient of serious news.
  • At 4M and 3.1M, respectively, Time's and Newsweek's circulation level have been flat. (An optimist might say, "is holding steady.")
  • The article says that Time & Newsweek suffer from Economist envy, since that international magazine saw an increase in ad pages.
  • The fact that Time & Newsweek are suffering (Newsweek's buyout offer to 150 staffers is the article's newshook) reinforces the point made in earlier posts: U.S. magazines subsidize circulation through advertising; in other words: 4M circulation is great, but it doesn't pay all the bills. Advertising does. When advertising suffers, so too does editorial.
  • And what you may ask of U.S. News & World Report? Tellingly, despite spending nearly a 1000 words on the newsweekly category, the Journal does not mention U.S. News & World Report.

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