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…