It was not a big surprise to learn that Newsweek owner put an end to a 80 years old prestigious career in the print and turn it into a digital publication.
So, it was not a surprise but was it a smart move? I doubt it.
Digital media face two handicaps, to be visible and to be user friendly. By leaving the print, Newsweek will vanish from the kiosks and will have to fight a uphill battle with too many competitors who occupy already a comfortable seat on the Internet stage. Moreover, pure players such as Slate or Salon or sophisticated newspapers sites like the New York Times are very attractive for the internauts as they offer a wide range of news, video, blogs and good connections to the social networks. Newsweek disapeared from the print world because it added no value to saturated readers. The same will apply to the Internet. Unfortunately, this fine weekly is doomed and will be absorbed by the fairly successful Daily Beast.
One more question. What will happen to the too many French newsmagazines? Are they bound to disappear like Newsweek? Are they useless? For the time beeing, I will try a tentative no. They obviously profit from the weakness of the French dailies. None of them covers extensively in print and on the web, the current affairs as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post still do. So the French Express, le Point or Nouvel Observateur can still contribute to the information of a large public which is often frustrated by the slim content of money starved dailies.