It seems like only yesterday that we were mourning the death of print media with the announcement that New York was cutting back to a biweekly publishing schedule. Perhaps those tears were premature: Newsweek is coming back.
Yes, Newsweek, which, under the masterful hand of Tina Brown went "digital-only" at the end of last year before being sold off (for an undisclosed amount) to IBT Media in August, is firing up the printing presses again, according to the New York Times.
Editor in chief Jim Impoco told NYT that the first print edition would come out in "January or February," and it'll be 64 pages long. But don't expect it to be exactly the same as the old Newsweek. There's a reason why it stopped printing and was sold off to IBT Media: it cost more than it made. Forty million dollars more, by some accounts. And while removing the spend-happy Tina Brown might staunch some of those losses, it can't turn everything around.
Impoco said the magazine's revenue would be based more on subscriptions than advertising, and thus will cost subscribers more. A "boutique product" like The Economist, as Impoco described it. It'll also be cheaper to print, though the article doesn't elaborate on how. It'll certainly be printing fewer copies, to start: IBT is hoping to build circulation to 100,000 by the end of 2014. It was 1.5 million as of June 2012.
Under IBT Media and Impoco, Newsweek.com has returned with a fresh, modern design, high-profile hires and a renewed relevance. It'll be interesting to see if they can make a better go of a print model than its previous owners did.