Hey, Want to Buy Newsweek?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Guess what comes out every week and no one wants? The answer is Newsweek, a magazine that exists mainly for photoshopped cover trolling. It’s been sold for a buck and like a bad apple, it’s coming around again.

According to sources who have been briefed, IAC is sending out inquiries to prospective buyers who may be interested in purchasing the 80-year-old title, which ended weekly publication of its domestic edition late last year in favor of an digital-only format. A revamped Newsweek.com launched earlier this month.

As with the first sale of Newsweek, the price is expected to be negligible; what will matter more is the assumption of liabilities, although Newsweek is a much pared-down operation.

But all signs are that the publication — which the Washington Post Co. sold for $1 and assumption of liabilities — has been a stepchild to the Daily Beast.

IAC’s Barry Diller last month signaled his unhappiness with the purchase, telling Bloomberg TV that “it was a mistake” to buy the publication and a “fool’s errand if that magazine is a news weekly.”

How much of a fool’s errand? This much.

According to sources who have been briefed, Newsweek’s 1.5 million subscribers, in the quarter before it ended its print edition, fell to 470,000 in the first quarter of this year, with estimates that it will continue to decline throughout the year.

Online traffic declined from 2.9 million unique visitors in January, to 1.9 million last month, according to those who have seen the numbers.

For Newsweek, the beginning of the end came when its bias collided with the internet during the Clinton Administration. Newsweek had the Monica Lewinsky story first but chose not to run it. Instead the Drudge Report did. And the rest is history. And by the rest, I mean Newsweek.

  • Larry

    I've got 5 bucks spare at the moment, where do I send it to by my Newsweek?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      You're overpaying by four bucks

  • Flowerknife_us

    Time is hard to find today-even in the Doctors office. Live or die in the waiting room.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame. "Newsweek" used to be a good magazine. It's a real shame.

    • William Cervetti

      No, on the contrary, Newsweek was never a good magazine.Newsweek and, for example, U. S. News and World Report, served a practical function as a last minute resource for procrastinating High School Students of my generation,to find SOMETHING, JUST SOMETHING with which to cobble up a last-minute page-and-a-half on a subject like "The Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty—Good or Bad?". Time mag was much more established, and published much earlier, but was always an object of derision among smart critics of the culture, like, for example, my hero Dwight Macdonald. And it was that magazine that pioneered the whole absurd cognitively dissonant concept of MAN OF THE YEAR, with such luminaries as Stalin and Hitler to earn the accolade.