Newsweek's print revival starts on Friday

Newsweek magazine, online only since the end of 2012, will return to print starting on Friday in the United States (US) and Europe. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND LIM
Newsweek magazine, online only since the end of 2012, will return to print starting on Friday in the United States (US) and Europe. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND LIM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Newsweek magazine, online only since the end of 2012, will return to print starting on Friday in the United States (US) and Europe.

Parent company IBT Media is taking a gamble in re-launching the once-iconic news weekly, which has nearly disappeared in the face of serious financial difficulties.

In crafting its print resurrection, the New York-based online media group, led by French businessman Etienne Uzac, has adopted a strategy that goes against current practices. The new magazine will seek to position itself as a high-end product, in particular with higher quality paper and printing than its competitors.

"We'll deliver the quality of a monthly every week," said editor-in-chief Jim Impoco.

But the flip side of the high-end aspirations is a price well above other news magazines. Newsweek will be sold for US$7.99 (S$10.14) a copy in the US. An annual subscription - including both the paper edition and unlimited access to the website - will cost around US$150 in the US, some five times more than the cost for rival Time.

In Europe, where the print edition had not stopped, the price will vary by country.

IBT Media is planning to put out 70,000 copies of its first issue on Friday, a spokesman for the weekly told Agence France-Presse. Down the line, the magazine said it aims to have 100,000 copies in circulation in the US and another 100,000 in the rest of the world.

"This is an extension of what we are already producing with an e-magazine," Mr Uzac said in December.

Mr Impoco "has put in place and will continue to put in place a strong team".

"We will do investigative reporting. We will go into depth in some fields," added the businessman, who did not respond to interview requests on Wednesday.

Currently, Newsweek employs 29 journalists full time.

The return of Newsweek's print edition caps a turbulent few years for the title, which was first published in 1933. At the start of the 1990s, the magazine had a worldwide circulation of 3.3 million readers, but sales declined steadily over the next two decades, slipping to 1.5 million by 2010.

After changing hands several times, the title was bought last summer by IBT Media.

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