Newsweek's print revival starts Friday

This December 24, 2012 photo shows a woman perusing the final print edition of Newsweek in Washington, DC
This December 24, 2012 photo shows a woman perusing the final print edition of Newsweek in Washington, DC

Newsweek magazine, online only since the end of 2012, will return to print starting Friday in the United States 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 resurrection, the New York-based online group, led by French businessman Etienne Uzac, has adopted a strategy that goes against current practices.

The new 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 $7.99 a copy in the United States.

And an annual subscription—including both the paper edition and unlimited access to the website—will cost around $150 in the United States, some five times more than the cost for rival Time.

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

IBT Media is planning to put out 70,000 copies of its first issue Friday, a spokesperson for the weekly told AFP. Down the line, the magazine said it aims to have 100,000 copies in circulation in the United States and another 100,000 in the rest of the world.

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

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 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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© 2014 AFP

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