Newsweek will shift to an online-only subscription model, owner Barry Diller has confirmed to analysts in a recent conference call. The transition from print media to online-only would mark the end of an era for the famous weekly news magazine, which has been printed since 1933.
In the conference, staged after the company’s quarterly earnings were released, Diller revealed the cost of “manufacturing” a weekly had taken its toll on Newsweek‘s profits. He then to seemed to confirm that Newsweek, like its sister title The Daily Beast, will eventually go digital-only:
“I’m not saying it will happen totally, but the transition to online from hard print will take place. We’re examining all of our options.”
Diller added that his team at IAC/InteractiveCorp would have a fresh plan ready for Newsweek‘s future by October or early-2013.
However, the success of magazines in a digital format is still being questioned.
In February 2011, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp launched The Daily for tablet devices, including the iPad, but industry reports have revealed the magazine has yet to become profitable in its digital guise. In the Internet age, the marketplace for information and entertainment is more crowded than ever before, and it’s yet to be confirmed whether magazines can carve themselves a niche.
Newsweek was bought by Diller and IAC/InteractiveCorp for $1 in 2010 from the family of late billionaire Sidney Harman. The family had stopped investing in the publication, which has won a long list of awards and accolades during its 79-year existence.
Are you a Newsweek reader, and if so, would you continue to read the magazine if it does go online-only? Let us know in the comments!