The long-published Newsweek magazine may go digital-only in the near future as its owners are thinking of ways to swing the publication back from the red.
According to Reuters in a report on Wednesday, Newsweek owner Barry Diller said that Newsweek may soon transition to being available only through digital sources.
Newsweek has been published since 1933 but the weekly magazine, one of the biggest in the U.S., is losing money.
Diller is quoted as saying by Reuters in an earnings conference call that: “I’m not saying it will happen totally, but the transition to online from hard print will take place.”
“We’re examining all of our options,” the veteran media magnate said.
According to the news organization, the main problem with Newsweek was that it is taking a lot in the “manufacturing” side of things.
“He then strongly hinted at taking the Newsweek brand to a digital-only format similar to its sister title ‘Daily Beast’,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.
This has sparked a rumor flurry with other news sites saying that the Newsweek magazine may indeed soon become digital-only.
However, Newsweek has sent out a statement from its Editor Tina Brown denying that the publication will go digital-only this fall.
Here’s the statement, titled “Scaremongering”, in full:
A note from Tina Brown (our editor) just hit the ol’ inbox in regards to a fun little rumor that went around this morning which said Newsweek would be going—gasp!—all digital this fall.
Barry Diller would like to make it clear that he did not say on the earnings call as reported that Newsweek is going digital in September.
He made the uncontroversial, industry-wide observation that print is moving in the direction of digital.
Below, in summary, are the points he actually made on the IAC earnings call when he was reporting the tremendous results of the company this quarter.
1. The Newsweek brand is strong, and far stronger than it has been in years.
2. We wouldn’t finance The Daily Beast at anywhere near the level of ‘12.
3. That eventually, over time, digital would replace much of print (hardly a controversial revelation).
4. In September we would be evolving our plan for the year ’13, with many options to choose from.
So there’s that!
As told by Brown and first said by Diller, we’ll know for sure by 2013 when the company has finalized plans for Newsweek if the magazine will go digital-only.
Image from lets.book on Flickr (CC)