Tina Brown, the editor of Newsweek, said taking over the soon-to-be all-digital weekly was "completely insane, actually."
The Daily Beast founder and editor took the reins at the 80-year-old magazine in 2010, a few months before its owner Sidney Harman died at 92.
Newsweek announced last month that it would discontinue its print edition after Dec. 31.
"Every piece of the Zeitgeist was against Newsweek, combined with an unfixable infrastructure and a set of challenges that really would have required five years in an up economy to solve," Brown told New York magazine in a new profile on her.
Brown compared her time at Newsweek to her tenure as editor of the iconic New Yorker.
"Within the first few months, one of the partners dies—before we’d even really gotten the office straight," Brown said, referring to Harman. "I came into a situation where pretty much every senior member of management had departed. That was one of the big differences between Newsweek and the New Yorker. When I took over the New Yorker, there was a very, very good, smart staff in place."