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As anyone in the publishing business can tell you, it's expensive to print magazines -- particularly when so many of them wind up unsold in the first place. The publishers of Newsweek know this all to well as they transition to all-digital next year.
The Daily Beast is reporting that Newsweek will be shifting to an all-digital format next year, following the publication of its last print edition with the December 31 issue.
The move isn't entirely surprising given the increasing shift to digital for magazines and other periodicals, but Newsweek isn't exactly a new kid on the block -- the magazine has been in print continuously for the last eight decades.
"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," the announcement reveals. "Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast."
The change is primarily blamed on "the challenging print advertising environment," while the publisher notes the "rapidly growing audience" on Apple's Newsstand, Amazon's Kindle, Zinio and Barnes & Noble's NOOK devices. Tablet users are expected to exceed 70 million in the U.S. alone by the end of 2012 -- a number that was only 13 million just two years ago.
"Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night," concludes editor-in-chief Tina Brown. "But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose -- and embrace the all-digital future."
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter