The publishers of Newsweek magazine have decided that the weekly rag can only survive as an electronic blip.
The cost of putting out a glossy color magazine is greater than the income to be derived from selling it. Not enough people are subscribing or purchasing to sustain a news journal.
Eliminating the physical copy will save money on printing costs, but the question still remains. Will enough people subscribe to the digital edition to make that viable? Or is Newsweek on its deathbed?
Given that evolutionary track, you have to wonder how many of Newsweek's current subscribers are old dinosaurs who don't have a tablet computer and will have to say good-bye to the magazine. They aren't going to run out to buy an iPad just to read a collection of news articles when they can switch to Time.
And what of the younger set accustomed to online news? Are they accustomed to getting their news in bits and pieces, or will they learn to love a site that provides the variety of a magazine?
Owners of news kiosks around the world are left to wonder where they'll be in ten years time, if this trend to online publishing takes hold.
Writers and editors have to wonder as well. Getting found online is not as easy as being placed on a rack in a public place with high foot traffic. Surviving in the online market could prove too difficult, or too expensive.
As for salaries, consider the sad fact that limiting publication to a digital edition is intended to cut costs. The next step is decreasing pay rates to further reduce expenses, or eliminating positions where one can do the work of three at the salary of less than one employee.
Already, Newsweek is paired with The Daily Beast, which doesn't sound like any sort of stodgy, serious news site. How long before it's only The Daily Beast, and Newsweek is relegated to the archives, to sit in the dust with Look or The Literary Digest?