Newsweek Confirms Million-Copy Rate Base Slash
Magazine to roll back circulation to 1.5 million in 2010.
Newsweek said Monday that it will lower its rate base by a million copies early next year. The magazine plans to move its guaranteed circulation from 2.6 million to 1.9 million in July, and to 1.5 million in January 2010.
âMass for us is a business that doesnât work,â Tom Ascheim, Newsweekâs chief executive, told the New York Times. âWish it did, but it doesnât. We did it for a long time, successfully, but we canât anymore.â
FOLIO: first reported Newsweekâs planned drop in circulation in December.
âA million [rate base] was the extreme,â a source told FOLIO: of Newsweek's thinking last year. But, as the year wore on, and the economic crisis worsened, â[they] didnât see a recovery.â
The magazine is also transitioning away from covering the weekâs news events to more of a âthought leaderâ publication akin to the Economist and the Atlantic.
âThereâs a phrase in the culture, âwe need to take note of,â âwe need to weigh in on,ââ editor Jon Meacham told the Times. âThatâs going away. If we donât have something original to say, we wonât. The drill of chasing the weekâs news to add a couple of hard-fought new details is not sustainable.â
Newsweek said as part of its redesign, it will move to a heavier paper stock and âput more emphasis on photography.â
During the second half of 2008, Newsweekâs total paid and verified circulation fell 13.1 percent as paid subscriptions stumbled some 18 percent, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulationsâ latest Fas-Fax. Newsweekâs ad pages, meanwhile, plummeted 19 percent last year.