Newsweek plans to resume a weekly print edition in 2014 after stopping the presses last year — and its news backers want it to resemble The Economist more than long-time rival Time magazine.
Newsweek’s editor-in-chief Jim Impoco confirmed the magazine’s revival Tuesday following a report in the New York Times indicating Newsweek will reappear a 64-page weekly issue beginning in January or February.
The magazine, which had published weekly since 1933, ran what was expected to be its last print issue on Dec. 31, 2012.
“It’s going to be a more subscription-based model, closer to what The Economist is compared to what Time magazine is,” Impoco, who was formerly an editor at the New York Times, told the paper. “We see it as a premium product, a boutique product.”
Newsweek had been plagued by declining ad revenues, dwindling distribution and subscriptions, and increasing production costs for years before it was sold to audio engineering mogul Sidney Harman for $1 in 2009 – in exchange for Harman assuming all of the magazine’s debts and obligations.
The magazine merged with online news site The Daily Beast in 2010, but the unification of the two outlets was rocky from the start. Barry Diller, CEO of Daily Beast parent company IAC/InterActiveCorp announced his intention to sell Newsweek in April 2013, saying the purchase was a “mistake.”
“Printing a single magazine is a fool’s errand if that magazine is a news weekly,” Diller said at the time, citing the difficulty in competing with instant news through the internet and social media.
Also read: Newsweek Sold to IBT Media
“We have a very, very solid newsroom, [but] I don’t have great expectations,” he added. “I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek. It was a mistake.”
IBT Media bought the magazine in August 2013 and installed Impoco as editor in September. Impoco indicated the new publisher was negotiating deals to save money on production costs, and hoped to build circulation to 100,000 in the first year of resumed print.