Tina Brown & Baba Shetty on the Newsweek of the future.
This email from Tina hit staff inboxes a little before 7:00am this morning. Newsweek’s going all digital. Last edition will be the December 31st issue. Ch-ch-changes.
To: All Staff
We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the U.S. will be our December 31st issue. Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.
Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscriptions and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.
Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine - which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone - a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.
At the same time, our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek’s online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well on The Daily Beast. Tablet-use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution - a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism. By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.
Currently, 39 percent of Americans say they get their news from an online source, according to a Pew Research Center study released last month. In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.
It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not. We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We 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.
Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption. The inexorable move to an all-digital Newsweek comes with an unfortunate reality. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the United States and internationally. More details on the new organizational structure will be shared individually in the coming weeks and months.
We realize news of a big change like this will be unsettling. We wish to reassure you the transition is well planned, extremely mindful of the unavoidable impact on our staff and respectful of our readers, advertisers and business partners.
There will be an all-staff town hall meeting at 11am on the editorial side of our floor to answer your questions and address your concerns.
Tina Brown & Baba Shetty
There’s also a piece from Tina co-bylined with our new CEO, Baba, up on the website: A Turn of the Page for Newsweek.
The future of the tabloids’ print editions: things you’ve already seen on the Internet! Didn’t expect them to be so brutally honest.
Barack Obama, moments ago: ”I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency that was declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat.”
Tony Dokoupil, the author of this week’s story about Dr. Peter Bourne, the self-described “first drug czar” in the Carter administration (who left after being accused of snorting cocaine at a party thrown by none other than NORML), sent along this little excerpt from his reporting for the tumblr. Dr. Bourne basically claims to be the inspiration for the Jason Bourne.
Newsweek: Come clean Peter G. Bourne: Are you the inspiration for the Bourne Identity?
Peter G. Bourne: Yes, I am. When it was first published [in 1980] I thought, you know, this is pretty amazing that he has taken my name, which is not a terribly common name…Then I read the book and there were so many parallels with my own life and Jason Bourne in the book that I thought he must have copied this. Then I saw an interview with Robert Ludlum. They asked him, you know, where do you get the names? And he said, oh, I just read the Washington Post and I see a name and I just take it. Then at some point my father actually met Robert Ludlum and asked him where he got the name from—and he said it was from my name in the Washington Post.
Newsweek: How do you feel about Matt Damon playing you?
Peter G. Bourne: That’s all fine with me. The problem I have is when I go through pass port control people make some joke about it. “I better be careful with you,” they say. It gets a bit tired after a while.
The first photos are coming out of the Colorado courtroom where ‘Dark Knight’ shooting suspect James Holmes appeared before a judge this morning. His hair was orange, he was wearing a jump suit, and he appeared dazed.
Amid reports the shooter
died dyed his hair red in a maniacal nod to the Joker, feel it’s worth posting this clip, from the Dark Knight. Notably: “Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
We’ll be helping the editors on the site with coverage of the ‘Dark Knight’ Aurora, Co. shooting, so not many updates here at the moment. Truly devastating news to wake up to, you guys. If you’d like to help with our reporting, follow our Storify we’re building out and send along any notable tweets, photos, videos you find that tell the story of what happened last night.
We asked a handful of legal experts to review and annotate yesterday’s SCOTUS health-care opinion because, honestly, thing is confuuuuuuu-sing! Check it out and get learn’d. Super cool.