As Newsweek Goes on Block, An Era Fades
By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD
Time and Newsweek once competed to lead the national conversation. Though it is still popular, Newsweek is no longer profitable.
For generations, Time and Newsweek fought to define the national news agenda every Monday on the newsstand. Before the Internet, before cable news, before People magazine, what the newsweeklies put on their covers mattered.
As the American conversation has become harder to sum up in a single cover, that era seems to be ending. The Washington Post Company announced Wednesday that it would sell Newsweek, raising questions about the future of the newsweekly, first published 77 years ago.
Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of the Washington Post Company, said in an interview that the decision was purely economic.
“I did not want to do this, but it is a business,” he said. The magazine would lose money in 2010, he said, and “we don’t see a sustained path to profitability for Newsweek.”
The move comes as companies have been sloughing off and revamping other mass magazines. TV Guide was sold for $1 to a private equity firm; Businessweek was sold for $5 million in cash to Bloomberg L.P.; and Reader’s Digest was given an editorial overhaul as it slashed circulation.
Newsweek Is for Sale as Newsweeklies Lose Influence