Thursday, October 18, 2012
Another media "shoe" drops
I've posted at length here about how certain media are suffering in the face of rapid technological change. You have seen my rants about how my town's formerly daily newspaper has--mostly through arrogance and a severe lack of understanding of its readership and advertisers--fumbled badly their inevitable transition to a digital format.
Well, today comes news that another venerable brand in the media is succumbing:
Tina Brown, who edits Newsweek and The Daily Beast, announced this morning that the nearly 80-year-old weekly news magazine will go all-digital. The December 31 edition will be the last one in print. Its online successor, to be called Newsweek Global, will offer a single, subscription-based international edition designed for e-readers, tablets and the Web and targeted to opinion leaders. Even so, Brown and Newsweek Daily Beast CEO Baba Shetty say that they “anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.” The execs say that they are “transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” adding that they “remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”
(This excerpt is from DEADLINE.)
I admit that once I got over the initial shock of learning this icon's print version would go away--and that its CEO's name is "Baba Shetty"--I came to the realization that I had not read a word in Newsweek in over a decade. I think I saw a copy in the dentist's office a while back but the copy date was months before, and the news in it, even when the issue was fresh, was over a week old.
Time--and technology as it affects media--marches on. Trees everywhere are cheering. And I'll have more and more fodder for this little blog as more dominoes fall.