Newsweek Owner: “I Wish I Hadn’t Bought 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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Newsweek has already suffered every conceivable indignity, from being sold for a buck to being merged into the Daily Beast, a Slate wannabe, while losing most of its brand. And the news isn’t getting any better for the tediously lefty news magazine.

If you were wondering why Newsweek was humiliating itself with desperate bids for attention, it’s because the news for Newsweek isn’t good.

Barry Diller, chairman of Newsweek parent company IAC, admitted Monday  that purchasing the embattled magazine was a mistake.

“I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek. It was a mistake,” he says. “Printing a single magazine is a fool’s errand if that magazine is a newsweekly.”

“There are some magazines that have no competition essentially in their field, luxury magazines,” Diller said. “Advertisers must advertise in them. But for a news magazine … it was not possible to print it any longer. So we said we will offer a digital product. We have a very, very solid newsroom, and we’ll see. I don’t have great expectations. I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek. it was a mistake.”

No one has great expectations including Newsweek’s employees. Diller went digital to try and cover the losses on the print edition, but going digital obviously was not a solution.

Newsweek’s plight isn’t unique. The mainstream media is flailing badly. Red ink is leaking everywhere and the ads aren’t showing up. Advertisers have too many options these days and the old large branded ad is no longer nearly as appealing as it used to be. Companies are becoming more proactive in reaching customers and less inclined to rely on a branding that clearly even Newsweek’s owners don’t believe has value anymore.

Newsweek’s challenge was to understand its readers and it chose not to do that. Now it’s the news magazine equivalent of Oldsmobile. A dead brand that people still remember.

 

  • Spikey1

    1600 Appeasement Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. will have a bail out for Newsweek any minute now.
    They can't have supporters crying all over the place about the free market…

  • Mary Sue

    He should have fired all the leftists staffers and hired Ezra Levant.

  • Archie

    They can just take money from the Saudis — that has kept the NY Times afloat for the past several years!

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      Thank you for saying that. There are so many people in the Saudis’ back pocket, I understand why Obama refused to sign on to the Keystone Pipeline. The Saudis would go broke if they had competition and if they went broke, a lot of people would be on VERY THIN ICE!

  • Glennd1

    I have a crazy suggestion – why don't they try doing real, deep news? Some investigative journalism. Take on some of the big issues that the MSM won't touch, don't they understand that the non-partisan people are dying for real news? For real reporting? I'm old enough to remember an old joke that the punch line to was "you know you're having a really bad day when you show up at work and a 60 minutes news crew is outside your office". Who's afraid of them now? Who's afraid of being exposed? Who's turning up the screws on this govt? Newsweek could actually start doing real news again. Just a crazy thought…

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Real news? You mean, like to inform people? How does that work?

      I don't think Goebbels had that chapter in his book of tricks.

  • flowerknife_us

    Fairy Tales and make believe are hard to sell as NEWS.

    You know a publication is in trouble when you no longer find it in your friends bathroom.

  • owmyballs

    Oh no! Fake profanity! Don't use that. Keep fighting fire with toilet paper!

  • DDay66

    Good riddance.