Newsweek, one of the most internationally recognized magazine brands in the world, will cease publishing a print edition after nearly 80 years.
The decision disclosed in a blog post on its companion website The Daily Beast, is indicative of the shift to media consumption on digital devices such as tablets andmobile phones and underscores the problems faced by Newsweek in an increasingly commoditized, 24-hour news cycle.
"We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," Tina Brown, editor-in-chief ofNewsweek Daily Beast Co, and Baba Shetty, chief executive, wrote in a post on the Daily Beast website Thursday.
The move was not unexpected given both the macro changes affecting the magazine industry and, more specifically, the comments made in July by Newsweek's owner Barry Diller, head of IAC/Interactive Corp, about transitioning it to a digital-only format.
Plans calls for the magazine to become a subscription-based digital publication rebranded as Newsweek Global. Its current 1.5 million subscriber base - a decrease of 50 percent from its one-time peak of 3 million - will be given access to the digital edition. Some of Newsweek's content will be available for free on the Daily Beast, which itself is entirely free and advertising-supported.
Industry wide, U.S. magazine advertising pages fell 8.8 percent in the first half of 2012, according to Publisher's Information Bureau data. Newsweek fared better; its ad pages rose 7.6 percent during that period.
The final print edition of the weekly current affairs magazine will hit newsstands on December 31.