I'd buy that for a dollar
October 18, 2012 8:38 AM   Subscribe

In the wake of its $1 sale and subsequent restructuring, merger with The Daily Beast, and some increasingly criticized covers and stories, Newsweek announces that it will cease print publication at the end of the year.
posted by theodolite (76 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
But I need a mainstream publication that will pander to my Christianity with cover stories about what Jesus liked to eat!
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:42 AM on October 18, 2012 [20 favorites]


Who's going to keep me informed about Muslim rage now?
posted by Egg Shen at 8:43 AM on October 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


Local NPR was hawking subscriptions to Newsweek as part of their pledge drive. I wonder if they knew?
posted by jiawen at 8:43 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


But what will I use for my weekly current events papers in my US History class circa 1984?
posted by bondcliff at 8:45 AM on October 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Fortunately, there is a Heaven the magazine can go to.
posted by chavenet at 8:45 AM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


.
posted by frijole at 8:45 AM on October 18, 2012


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.

I think you're going to miss your target, there, kids.
posted by axiom at 8:48 AM on October 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


This means that Newsweek couldn't even survive as a billionaire's vanity project.
posted by Yakuman at 8:48 AM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.

Failing Business Announces Layoffs
posted by Egg Shen at 8:49 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


No tears in my house for the passing of Newspeak.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:49 AM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is nothing. The real death of magazine publishing came when all the general interest magazines (Look, Collier's, Saturday Evening Post) died en masse about 40 years ago.
posted by Yakuman at 8:50 AM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I really shouldn't kick them when they're down. But the name is so powerfully redolent of dismal waiting rooms with nothing else to read but Highlights and Woman's Day that I can't help myself.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:51 AM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


They've been giving it away with NPR subscriptions for a few years now. I'd try to get them to not send it, but it never worked. I think they needed the circulation for ad revenue. I'd get it and recycle it, unless kids needed some color pictures for a school project. It was really unreadable.
posted by readery at 8:52 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And nothing of value was lost."
posted by wenestvedt at 8:54 AM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Has Newsweek done any good journalism, whatsoever, in the last 10 years? Asking seriously.
posted by downing street memo at 8:54 AM on October 18, 2012


If they page three it with a scantily glad woman, they'd turn a profit overnight.
posted by Renoroc at 8:56 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps becoming a blog will better suit Fareed Zakaria's unique journalism style.
posted by modernserf at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2012


Newspeak was never all that. Looking for Slime Magazine to go down next.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2012


BUT I JUST TRADEMARKED MY BITING 'SNOOSEWEEK' JAB YOU GUYS NO FAIR
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


The two things that made me give up Newsweek years ago:
*The ceaseless, axe-grinding hatred for the Navy and the military academies. (I get that our military needs solid outside criticism, but the consistency of such a narrow scope really bothered me.)

*Fareed Zakaria saying in 2003 that we should go ahead and invade Iraq because, I mean really guys, how much worse could we make it over there? Screw it, let's just roll the dice.

I should note that in 2003, I was among those who fell for the lie. I didn't realize how badly our media had abdicated its responsibilities in our society. Newsweek was a great big poster child for that.

My heart does not bleed for this.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're too embarassed now to leave a paper trail.
posted by inturnaround at 8:59 AM on October 18, 2012


Who is Time going to do dueling covers with now?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:04 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, without Newsweek I might not have learned that George Will is full of shit, so I guess I owe them that.

Although I probably would have learned it anyway.
posted by COBRA! at 9:04 AM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


My wife brought home the Muslim Rage edition a few weeks ago; it had been left at her office (with a few other mags) and I think she wanted something to read on the bus.

I had not read Newsweek in many years--not even held it in my hands--but I had read it in the college library on study breaks (about 8 years before my first laptop, and maybe 15 years before my first iPhone; cruising the periodical room was the bomb).

I was amazed at how shitty a little rag it had become. I can't say I was ever a sophisticated consumer of magazine news, but the descent from where it was in 1995 to 2012 was astounding. It was about the length in pages and heft in content as a pharmaceutical advertising insert in the magazine I remembered. It was really kind of embarassing to hold in your hands--not least because of the idiotic cover.

I can't say I'm happy to see any publication go down the tubes; it's a shame to lose magazines and newspapers. But, damn, I'm not shedding too many tears this time.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is terrible news. Printing articles like "Heaven Is Real" on dead trees lends a certain gravitas to them. Now it's just going to seem like any whack-job with a blog.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:16 AM on October 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Probably one of the first adult publications that I read - the parents had a subscription. So that makes me a little sad, although it seems that the magazine I'm sad for was long dead already.
posted by thelonius at 9:30 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


What should Newsweek's last cover story be?
posted by shothotbot at 9:31 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: is Newsweek a good news source?
posted by shothotbot at 9:33 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What should Newsweek's last cover story be?

WOULD JESUS FORGIVE TERRORISTS?
posted by Egg Shen at 9:36 AM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Newsweek changed their paper some years ago. That is when they died to me.

It used to be one of the best magazines for making blowgun darts. Just the right amount of friction to make it easy to roll super tight pointy darts. Some binder in the paper that would solidify the tip into a rock solid needle after a good lick. Newsweek darts could go through a full size rat and remain sharp. Now you might as well make darts out of toilet paper.

No other mainstream magazine gets even close to the old newsweek. The best I can get is a yoga magazine from a local yoga place, but it feels weird to build instruments of death out of articles on inner peace and compassion.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 9:42 AM on October 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


LiveJournal should have held on for just a few more months.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:46 AM on October 18, 2012


My wife brought home the Muslim Rage edition a few weeks ago

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM on October 18, 2012


IRL, I am a commercial printer. I work in a pressroom that puts actual ink on dead trees, folds it all together nicely and gets it ready for delivery to your home or newsstand.

The average age for a printer in our shop is 48; in reality, that's skewed downwards by the transients who work at the bottom rung of the totem pole for a couple of years and move on - the actual age of a fully-skilled journeyman is closer to 55. Our jobs disappear with the closing every press, leaving a group of people too old to start over and too young to retire. Like buggy builders at the dawn of the automobile age, we're watching our industry die. Evolution in action, and we are dinosaurs with mammals cavorting about our feet.

So, yeah - Newsweek is a yellow rag. But behind every real object that you hold in your hands, there's a group of people making that object. It's worth remembering that when printed things die, the jobs die too. So don't mind me if I'm not poking fun its demise. Also, I might be a tiny bit bitter about it because the holding company that owns us just accepted a bid from another company to buy most of its printing facilities. Our shop, alas, is not included in the offer.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:47 AM on October 18, 2012 [31 favorites]


Newsweak.
posted by kcds at 9:52 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What?! What am I supposed to read at the doctor's office now? People and OK magazine?!
posted by mathowie at 10:05 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by oneironaut at 10:07 AM on October 18, 2012


Is it OK if the rest of us carry on as we were?

Oh please do - I find it inexplicably cheering. I've hated that scurrilious self-righteous mag ever since I got it for a freebie and they refused to cancel it. I could barely meet the postman's eyes for shame.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 10:07 AM on October 18, 2012


If they page three it with a scantily glad woman, they'd turn a profit overnight.

I just want to say, "scantily glad" is pure gold.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 10:14 AM on October 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


"Now my Newsweek covers mean nothing--they lost all credibility," Trump tweeted.

Incredibly, this does not appear to be satire.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:19 AM on October 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


What?! What am I supposed to read at the doctor's office now? People and OK magazine?!
Dude, Highlights. Goofus is cool.
posted by lkc at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2012


What?! What am I supposed to read at the doctor's office now? People and OK magazine?!

MeFi, on your smartphone, same as in town.
posted by notyou at 10:44 AM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Okay, now put Maclean's out of our misery.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who's going to keep me informed about Muslim rage now?

The "news" magazines Stern and Spiegel valiantly perform this essential task every other issue in Germany, conveniently enough a country with no law against incitement to racial hatred.
posted by runincircles at 10:51 AM on October 18, 2012


What will young extemp speakers do to "dominate" the competition by pulling a single quote out of Newsweek?
posted by drezdn at 10:58 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hmm, I'm old enough to feel a twinge of nostalgia for the old magazine my Mom used to read when I was a child 40 years ago. Sorta like when one of your old neighbors turns into a zombie and you watch him get shot in the head, I head.
posted by tyllwin at 10:59 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My wife subscribed to Newsweek for a while when we were dating, because she remembered her parents always having a subscription and finding it an interesting magazine when she was younger. She didn't renew it after the end of the first year, because even within that short time frame (about 2009-2010, maybe) she found the quality of content to get dramatically worse. Personally, I found it to US-centric so I rarely read it.
posted by asnider at 11:06 AM on October 18, 2012


I am saddened not by the loss of Newsweek, but by the lack of Robocop references beyond the post title.
posted by Peccable at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


TERRORISTS WIN
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:13 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


> What?! What am I supposed to read at the doctor's office now? People and OK magazine?!

Issues of Newsweek ranging from five to twenty-five years old will be available as usual in the waiting room of your choice.
posted by jfuller at 11:33 AM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


This is just going to encourage people to subscribe to The Economist.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:37 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


What am I supposed to read at the doctor's office now?

Readers Digest is still publishing.

(Also locally Sunset seems to fill that waiting-room niche.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:42 AM on October 18, 2012


Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition

How are they going to do US-only covers that dumb down the issues?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2012


But behind every real object that you hold in your hands, there's a group of people making that object.
So it's the whole 'contractors on the death star' argument all over again?

I get that there are hard working people doing their jobs as fastidious and as efficient as possible, and that these people are not in any way responsible for the messages conveyed by their machines...

But what the heck happened to taking pride in your work? I mean, I could make more money working doing the same job for the mega-corporation down the street, but I think my non-profit puts out the better product, so I take the hit knowing that my hours go to a decent product in the end.

Sure, as a fellow human being I feel empathy to others who have lost their jobs because of decisions made by upper level management. But let's face it, the end product of your labor was utter crap, and you guys should have left long before now.
posted by Blue_Villain at 12:08 PM on October 18, 2012


Wow.

All through middle school and high school -- ever since I was old enough to come home alone at 3 instead of having to stay for aftercare -- my after-school ritual was to bring in the mail, kick off my shoes, fix myself something to eat, and eat it while reading the new Newsweek. I loved that damn magazine. The cultural trend pieces that seem sort of ridiculous now that I'm on the Internet all the time were utterly fascinating, and in the back matter I learned about all kinds of really fantastic high-to-Newsweek-middlebrow-crossover media -- Marilynne Robinson, the Coen brothers. It's totally bound up in my head now with that after-school sense of relaxation and privacy. It was sort of reassuringly the same every week -- it never occurred to me it could change or go away.

Then I went off to college and the next time I happened to look at it it had gone altogether to shit, in a really embarrassing way. It was thinner, the articles were shorter, it had a hysterical tone it had never had before. I no longer had any interest in reading it. But it honestly never would have occurred to me, right up until I read this, that it could actually stop printing. I mean, it's Newsweek.

Bye, Newsweek.
posted by ostro at 12:22 PM on October 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


But let's face it, the end product of your labor was utter crap, and you guys should have left long before now.

Well, that's the thing - there are no other places to go. When magazines stop making print editions, when Sears stops printing their Wishbook, when a newspaper folds, when your local supermarket publishes flyers every 2 weeks instead of every week... those jobs don't go somewhere else - they just cease to exist. Printers aren't losing their jobs because of management decisions, they are losing their jobs because the entire printing industry is withering away. Things on paper were once the main avenue of communication in society; now, it's the internet. The ink-stained wretches who run the presses - we are the roadkill lying on the side of the information superhighway.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 12:28 PM on October 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I recently was offered a free subscription to Newsweek and accepted it, because I love magazines in general and I remembered Newsweek as being not bad -- equivalent to Time, basically, while not as good as The Week or The Economist.

Then I got my first issue and it was the Muslim Rage one. Then the Heaven is Real issue showed up. Not only are these issues worthless as reading material, but I don't even want my kids to cut them up for arts and crafts because I don't want them -- the magazines, that is, although this sometimes applies to the children as well -- in the house. Just like the free copies of Guitar Player and some newsletter a local hospital sends me, Newsweek goes straight from the mailbox to the recycling bin.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:31 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


@The corpse in the library: How'd you score free copies of guitar player?
posted by Renoroc at 1:39 PM on October 18, 2012


This was the first magazine I subscribed to after I got out of college (1995) because I figured adults should read newsmagazines. I enjoyed it for a few years and then moved and never changed the address and just let it expire. Even though I haven't read it in years and yes, it's much lighter-weight than it used to be, I'm sad at this news.

.
posted by kimberussell at 2:02 PM on October 18, 2012


> How'd you score free copies of guitar player?

I don't remember requesting it so I'm not certain, but they're coming to the name I use at Freebizmag.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:06 PM on October 18, 2012


Gawker with all knives out:
Tina Brown didn't kill Newsweek. She just killed its credibility. ...

... ever since she hitched her wagon to Harvey Weinstein's bloated, rage-disfigured star and launched the spectacular failure that was Talk back in 1999, she has proved herself capable of little more than parting megalomaniacs from their money and spooling out an increasingly desperate parade of attention-getting stunts. ...

Brown isn't the first editor to hype bullshit. But the gulf between her exquisitely honed reputation and the actual schlock that emerges from her shop is wider than that of any of her peers. Newsweek, which entered her fold two years ago after being purchased from the Washington Post Co. by Sydney Harman, was—let's face it—always destined for the rubbish heap. ...

But putting Newsweek in Brown's hands in its final years was like handing a dying cancer patient over to Gallagher to guide her to her final resting place. "Let's dress her up like a clown! Let's throw some fruit at her! Maybe if we make her scream someone will listen. Oh, by the way, you're all fired now." Newsweek could have gone down with some dignity, while trying to do something noble, or at least something not laughably transparent and awful. Instead it went down covered in the stench of bigotry and post-truth partisan hackery.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:25 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Damn. I knew I should've sold off the domain name Newsleek.com months ago... I was procrastinating on doing something funny with it for years (I even made a logo) but then Newsweek went beyond self-parody...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:28 PM on October 18, 2012


They've been giving it away with NPR subscriptions for a few years now.

I think that speaks volumes as to the relevancy, dependability and usefulness of NPR.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:23 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, this is kind of sad for me. I've greatly admired what Newsweek has become in the past year. It's so much better than it was 2 or 3 years ago, with actual lengthy articles that have substance. Tina Brown had a lot to do with that, I'm sure.

I know there are a lot of haters here, but I don't care. I watched Newsweek turn into some horrible thing, and then climb out of that pit and become something I actually enjoy reading again. It's far from brilliant, but it's hardly the festering sore that a lot of commenters in this thread are depicting it as. Certainly not for the past 6-12 months.

Farewell, oh bathroom magazine. I will miss you. I may be the only one.
posted by hippybear at 5:49 PM on October 18, 2012


You know, I was thinking about something sort of tangentially related the other day. I've been reading books (and magazines, I guess) on devices for like 13 years now, almost exclusively. From a clunky old thinkpad to my current iPad and several progressively-better pieces of hardware in between.

But I actually read a hardcover paper book (cover to cover over the course of a morning, in my office, doing research for a project) a couple of days ago for the first time in a very long time, and despite my full and enthusiastic conversion to e-reading, it was a great pleasure, almost a nostalgic one for me, and I found that the physicality of the thing imparted some measure of... I don't know... memorability and impact to what I was reading.

I kind of wish that the developing technologies around 3D printers and so on would crystallize and converge somehow (I know, it's just handwaving science fiction Star Trek fanstasy) into what would be a dream device for me -- a printer-builder that would create actual books from standardized digital formats, and magazines too or comics or whatever, on proper-feeling paper, but with a hopper into which you could just chuck the book or mag when you're done, so the device could use it as feedstock to print out the next ones.

That would be cool.

Not that I'd download Newsweek, let alone get my device to barf out pleasingly-tactile hard copy, but you know, in general.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:52 PM on October 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's far from brilliant, but it's hardly the festering sore that a lot of commenters in this thread are depicting it as. Certainly not for the past 6-12 months.

Both "Muslim Rage" and "Heaven Is Real" were published in the last month.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:59 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


They were cover stories. Who cares? There was other content in both issues which was worthwhile.

The Muslim Rage issue also had a pretty good interview with Paul Volker about the economy and a look at women in the CIA in the past and today, not to mention the piece on the need for outcomes-based medicine and public disclosure of quality of care in hospitals.

All those are pretty good articles, longer than I expected them to be, and worthwhile reading. None of them were award-winning on any level, but any of them could have made a perfectly decent FPP subject if I knew they wouldn't be met with full-on derision simply because they originated in Newsweek.

Avoidance of cover-based judgement isn't to be exclusively practiced in the domain of bound books.
posted by hippybear at 6:17 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


They were cover stories. Who cares? There was other content in both issues which was worthwhile.

If you say there was better content inside, I'll take your word for it.

But I don't think it's reasonable to expect anyone to pick up a news magazine advertising itself with crypto-racism and the paranormal on the chance they'll discover it.
posted by Egg Shen at 6:29 PM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: like handing a dying cancer patient over to Gallagher to guide her to her final resting place
posted by bardic at 7:18 PM on October 18, 2012


You know what makes this all the more delicious? Newsweek is going to go digital (LOL!) when it's already coupled to a digital news entity called The Daily Beast.

So it's like a corpse competing with itself. Or something. All I know is, good riddance. Why anyone thinks they can make money off of a dead-tree edition of anything in 2012 is beyond me. But I'm no Tina Brown.
posted by bardic at 7:20 PM on October 18, 2012


If you say there was better content inside, I'll take your word for it.

You certainly don't have to take my word for it. I linked three articles from that issue which you can peruse at your leisure and form your own opinion.

Although based on your comments in this thread, I suspect you will find them lacking out of principle rather than judging them on their own merits.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 PM on October 18, 2012


I has a subscription for a while about ten years ago, maybe through NPR, and there was just no content at all in it. You could read the thing in about ten minutes. I'm amazed that it's lasted as long as it has.
posted by octothorpe at 7:53 PM on October 18, 2012


because I don't want them -- the magazines, that is, although this sometimes applies to the children as well -- in the house

nice touch.
posted by ovvl at 8:06 PM on October 18, 2012


I just realized: NOW THE LYRICS OF "ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD" WILL BE MEANINGLESS.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Newsweek was the magazine du jour in our house - my parents thought Time was too conservative. I read it diligently growing up in the 70s but I remember coming home from college once and finding an actual article about Led Zeppelin in it. It was pretty horrible, the writer had no idea what they were witnessing onstage. It was pretty much my clue that if they couldn't get a simple thing like the appeal of a popular band there might be a whole lotta other stuff the writers there couldn't get their minds around.
posted by Ber at 2:04 PM on October 19, 2012


Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Beast: Out Of The Ashes Of Dead Trees
Which is why, when asked my opinion at Newsweek about print and digital, I urged taking the plunge as quickly as possible. Look: I chose digital over print 12 years ago, when I shifted my writing gradually online, with this blog and now blogazine. Of course a weekly newsmagazine on paper seems nuts to me. But it takes guts to actually make the change. An individual can, overnight. An institution is far more cumbersome. Which is why, I believe, institutional brands will still be at a disadvantage online compared with personal ones.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 AM on October 20, 2012


> The Muslim Rage issue also had a pretty good interview with Paul Volker about the economy and a look at women in the CIA in the past and today

A piece which, as I recall, it illustrated with sexy photo of a woman with glossy lipstick and sunglasses.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:29 AM on October 20, 2012


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