It’s the end of an era.
Newsweek announced on Thursday that after 80 years of publication they will cease their print edition and transition entirely to an all-digital format beginning in early 2013. According to the statement made on their digital partner The Daily Beast, editor-in-chief Tina Brown and Newsweek/Daily Beast CEO Baba Shetty confirmed the last print issue of Newsweek will be the Dec. 31 2012 issue.
The new all-digital version of the magazine (available on tablet and online) will be called Newsweek Global and will be available through paid subscriptions. Still, it’s not just a sea change for those at Newsweek like Brown and Shetty, who called this an “extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night,” not to mention those who will face the expected staff cutbacks. What about those who have been perusing Newsweek for its eight decades on newsstands? How will life change for all of us? Here are five ways:
Nothing to read on the can: Reading material in the bathroom is a must for any household. In some cases, it’s a life or death situation. Think I’m kidding? Imagine if Hank had an old copy of Newsweek lying around instead of Walt Whitman‘s classic Leaves of Grass when he took that fateful trip to the bathroom in the midseason finale of Breaking Bad? What happens to Walter White could have gone in a completely different direction if Hank was dumbstruck by a cover of Princess Diana instead of realizing his brother-in-law is the notorious meth lord he’s been tracking. (See: photo above). Which brings us to….
How will we know what dead celebrities would be up to now?: Last June, Newsweek and Brown made headlines for their controversial cover story about what the late Lady Di would be up to if she were still alive to see her 50th birthday, including a Photoshopped cover of her conversing with the daughter-in-law she never met, Kate Middleton. Classless? Insensitive? Too far? Maybe. But Newsweek filled our nation’s void of re-imagining the fate of deceased stars since Gene Kelly danced with a Dirt Devil. Still, even with the uproar, Brown may have been on to something. Case in point: People are still fascinated by the late Princess of Wales and, as the tremendous success of Hologram Tupac proved, there’s a market for bringing celebrities back from the dead.
Nothing to read in the waiting room of your doctor/dentist/veteranarian’s office: Unlike the bathroom dilemma, the lack of Newsweeks in waiting rooms probably won’t bring down any drug kingpins. Probably. That said, you could get stuck reading a torn issue of Reader’s Digest from 1992 or a People magazine where the Puzzler is already filled in and that is a fate much, much worse.
Less fodder for Jon Stewart and The Daily Show: The undeniable shift in the quality of content at Newsweek over the past few years not only caught the attention — and oftentimes wrath— of the media (thanks to covers like this and this) but also of the Emmy-winning Daily Show team and their adept ability to call out all the bulls**t out there. It’s always good when Stewart and The Daily Show get their hands on a hot topic, so it will be sad to see them have to bid adieu to this wealth of comedy material. Watch their amazing lambasting of Newsweek and their controversial Michele Bachmann cover:
That Newsweek subscription you inexplicably received despite never signing up for it will cease to exist: What on Earth are you going to read for free now? Oh, right, the Internet.
[Photo credits: AMC; Splash News]
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