Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Death of Newsweek?

Most of us know Tina Brown. She's an Oxford educated British ex-pat, a hardcore leftist (in the tradition of Tony Benn and Michael Foot), and shares the Fleet Street tabloid tradition of yellow journalism. Here in the States she's edited the New Yorker and Vanity Fair, both reliably liberal publications appealing to the progressive northeastern intelligentsia (or knee-jerk, narrow-minded, leftist halfwits as I like to call them). After Newsweek changed ownership she became managing editor.

So, how's she doing? Well, not so good. Reportedly the news mag is bleeding money at a rate of $20 mil. a year. Investors (Barry Diller, Jane Harmon, a consortium or two) have a target of 2013 to turn things around but are losing patience with such high loses. Even though the Washington Post basically gave them the brand, and this is obviously a labor of love, loses are loses and even leftist scum hate loses (at least when it's their money).

Therefore, in my humble opinion Newsweek is a dead duck. To start with it's an outdated business model. The internet is killing "slow news" publications like this and there is absolutely no reason to think this 15 year trend will change. Plus, Ms. Brown style of journalism doesn't fit with a news mag. Turning Newsweek into an overtly leftist, opinion oriented magazine will have by definition limited appeal, and sensational attention seeking stories or controversial covers (Michelle Bachmann's wild eyed photo comes to mind) aren't going to raise circulation. If Newsweek is around a year from now I'll be very surprised.

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