Thursday, December 11, 2008

Newsweek: soon just a clever name?

The WSJ reports that Newsweek will soon be a slimmer, less-read version of its former self. It will also be less newsy.

Apparently -- perhaps an attempt to appease readers conditioned by cable TV and the web to expect their news to come with a heavy dose of editorializing as well as color visuals -- the weekly will devote more of the scaled down book to photos and opinion.

It's also a way to save money. Going out and finding the news costs much more than yakking about it -- or for that matter, linking to it. It also takes far more time.

According to the WSJ: "Newsweek is seeking in part to mirror publications like the Economist, which has thrived in a tough market by focusing less on costly news gathering than on driving discussion of the day's issues.

"Mr. Meacham said recently that Newsweek has never been an objective summarizer of the week's events, or 'AP on nicer paper,' though he acknowledged a greater emphasis lately on editorializing. 'We are trying to be more provocative,' he said."

Provocative, good. Fewer pages devoted to actual news, not so much.

In addition to shedding pages, Newsweek may also try to shed readers, which seems counterproductive, but is not necessarily. Again from the WSJ: "Newsweek could benefit from targeting a smaller group of readers for reasons beyond reducing its printing and delivery costs. Some industry veterans think news weeklies must shed even more readers -- and charge more for remaining copies -- to garner an audience for which advertisers will pay a premium."

The magazine will also announce this afternoon that it is cutting staff. bk

1 comment:

tk said...

"Newsweek" Jusat a clever name.