Saturday, 20 October 2012

End of an era for print editions

Fast changes in media companies due to the internet and mobile technology. The print edition of Newsweek will be halted, according to this article:

  There was a time when the newsweeklies set the agenda for the nation's conversation - when Time and Newsweek would digest the events of the week and US readers would wait by their mailboxes to see what was on the covers.   

Those days have passed, and come the end of the year, the print edition of Newsweek will pass, too. Cause of death: The march of time.   

"The tempo of the news and the Web have completely overtaken the news magazines," said Stephen G. Smith, editor of the Washington Examiner and the holder of an unprecedented newsweekly triple crown - nation editor at Time, editor of US News and World Report, and executive editor of Newsweek from 1986 to 1991.   

Where once readers were content to sit back and wait for tempered accounts of domestic and foreign events, they now can find much of what they need almost instantaneously on their smartphones and tablet computers. Where once advertisers had limited places to spend their dollars to reach national audiences, they now have seemingly unlimited alternatives.   

So on Thursday, when Newsweek's current owners announced they intended to halt print publication and expand the magazine's Web presence, there was little surprise. But there was a good deal of nostalgia for what Smith called "the shared conversation that the nation used to have", when the networks, the newsweeklies and a few national newspapers reigned. 

And according to this article, Guardian is considering the same:

Guardian 'seriously discussing' end to print edition

The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers is close to axing the print editions of the newspapers, despite the hopes of its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger to keep them running for several years.

Senior figures at Guardian News & Media are seriously discussing the move to an entirely online operation, it has been claimed, leaving Mr Rusbridger increasingly isolated.

The longstanding Guardian chief wants to develop the Guardian’s digital-only US operation before pulling the plug on the print edition, in the hope that it will provide a useful blueprint for the online business in Britain.

However, trustees of the Scott Trust, GNM’s ultimate owner, fear it does not have enough cash on its books to sustain the newspapers for that long, according to More About Advertising, the website run by former Marketing Week editor Stephen Foster.

The Guardian publisher has spent the last few years battling to stem losses of £44m a year. However, it has been slow to make savings and any money that it has clawed back has been spent on expanding its US and online operations.

The investments helped to fuel a 16pc increase in digital revenues to £45.7m last year, but this was not enough to balance GNM’s operating losses which widened from £31.1m.

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