And the 2013 “New Coke” Award Goes To…


Last December, I wrote about why, after a good 40 years as a subscriber, I was ‘firing” Newsweek.  It had announced that beginning in January of this year, there would no longer be a print edition.  At least in the U.S. because it would continue two Asian and two European language editions plus an English “international” edition.

I didn’t keep the letter from Editor Tina Brown announcing the change but there was some blather about rising publishing costs and how “digital” was the future. There was probably something about “synergy” (a favorite term when two different companies merge) by joining Newsweek with the “digital only” Daily Beast.  (You can read that previous 2012 post here.)

Well, as December ends what does one year of a “digital only” Newsweek bring us?  Tina Brown is gone and it seems there has been “reconsideration” of last year’s decision for a “digital only” Newsweek.  Apparently, the “fit” with the Daily Beast did not produce the envisioned synergy.

And so now the decision has been made for Newsweek to become a “print” magazine.  Again.  Flip..flop.

I haven’t received anything yet but I do expect that as a former subscriber I’ll receive a “good news” letter about this reversal.  As a former subscriber, I’ll probably be offered a special subscription price.  But it’s common business knowledge that it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to find a new one.

I’ve no plans to become a Newsweek subscriber again.  I’ve become accustomed to not receiving Newsweek in my mailbox each week.  I’ve become accustomed to getting my news for free online.  And, the plan for the reborn Newsweek is to have customers pay more of the cost since advertising revenue decline was a large reason for the decision to switch to a “digital only” subscription format.

Now if they had gradually increased the subscription price to offset declining advertising revenue, I probably would have accepted that.  I still pay most bills by mail even though stamp prices have increased from the eight cents that I remember to 46 cents today.  The inertia principle…

But now the inertia is working against Newsweek.  We’ll see if previous subscribers come back or are like me.  Maybe the reborn Newsweek will fold again after a year.  If so, round up the usual suspects…

Here’s an article about Newsweek’s return to print.

And here’s your award Newsweek…



5 responses to “And the 2013 “New Coke” Award Goes To…

  1. A long, long time ago, I subscribed to Time, but stopped because it seemed to me the news I was getting was old by the time I got the magazine. If I were to subscribe to a magazine today (which I won’t), it would be The New Yorker. They would pile up and pile up without my having read them. For the most part I find reading any magazine very unsatisfying. I have to have books.

    • Over the years, I used to subscribe to a good number of magazines, including Computer Gaming World, Computer Shopper, Budget Travel and I think even American Heritage. But as the info became available online, that’s the way I went. But, I still have years of Budget Travel magazines stacked up. Since I can recycle them, I should do that to free up shelf space.

  2. I still get Time, SI, National Geographic, Southern Living and Birds and Blooms……..mostly because I enjoy their brands and just browsing for a few minutes without purpose or structure. Sometimes just having a single purpose is just too organized for being human and delightfully lazy.

    I no longer pay any bills with a stamp except for auto registration.

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