The Odd Resurrection of Newsweek

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Though Newsweek ceased being a printed publication last year, Editor in Chief Jim Impoco said Tuesday in an interview that the magazine plans to resume weekly publication as early as January 2014. But readers should expect to pay more than they have in the past.

“It’s going to be a more subscription-based model, closer to what The Economist is compared to what Time magazine is,” Impoco said. “We see it as a premium product, a boutique product.”

This move is in contrast to the larger trend away from print publishing to digital media in the face of skyrocketing production costs and dwindling ad revenues and subscriber bases.

The Washington Post, Newsweek’s former owner, sold the magazine in 2010, and it was subsequently merged with website The Daily Beast. But the fit between the two was less than perfect. In October 2012, editor Tina Brown announced that Newsweek would ceased print production after half a century but would continue as an online magazine called Newsweek Global. Newsweek was sold again in May 2013 to IBT Media.

The magazine’s new owner intends to spend less money publishing it than its predecessor did, and it has already negotiated with printers and distributors. IBT hopes to build Newsweek’s circulation to 100,000 in the first year.

Impoco, who became editor in September, said, “The new Newsweek will be deeply reported and global, which is what it was when it first came out 80-odd years ago and is what it should be now.” But the content of the Newsweek.com website that Impoco currently oversees is free. The print edition will have to rely on its name and journalistic legacy to overcome the challenge of enticing former Newsweek subscribers — and brand-new readers — to pay for it in print.