The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

October 19, 2012

Newsweek had unique troubles as industry recovers

— LOS ANGELES (AP) — Newsweek's decision to stop publishing a print edition after 80 years and bet its life entirely on a digital future may be more a commentary on its own problems than a definitive statement on the health of the magazine industry.

Magazine ad revenue in the U.S. is seen rising 2.6 percent this year to $18.3 billion, according to research firm eMarketer. That would be the third increase in three years, driven mainly by gains in digital ad sales, though print ads are expected to be flat.

Paid magazine subscriptions were up 1.1 percent in the first half of the year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. And while single-copy sales at newsstands are down 9.6 percent, overall circulation - the bulk of which is in print - is steady compared to a year ago.

The water is so warm for the magazine industry that in the first nine months of the year, 181 new magazines were launched while only about a third as many, or 61, closed, according to publication database MediaFinder.com.

By several measures, the magazine business has stabilized, albeit at a lower level, since the Great Recession ended three years ago.

For some, that casts a harsher light on Newsweek's decision to abandon print - affecting the nearly 1.4 million Newsweek subscribers who get their copy each week in the mail. They say it speaks to the magazine's trouble connecting with and keeping its readers.

That brings to mind some questionable covers, like the July 2011 what-if image depicting what Princess Diana would have looked like at age 50, or last month's "Muslim Rage" cover depicting angry protesters, which was roundly mocked on social networks like Twitter.

Newsweek is using a difficult print ad environment as an "excuse" for its decision to end print runs, said Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism. He lays the blame at the feet of Tina Brown, the editor who took control of Newsweek when it merged with the news website she ran, The Daily Beast, two years ago.

Text Only
Lifestyle
Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee