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.