IBT Media is trying to resurrect Newsweek magazine in the unlikeliest of ways. The first issue from the new owner was just released under the same digital-only format that The Daily Beast unsuccessfully executed before. The question left unanswered is: How do they plan to turn this liability into a lucrative business again?
Newsweek’s new home, mag.newsweek.com, doesn’t have any ads or subscription model, the two major things that bring in money for news companies. The new editor-in-chief, Jim Impoco, just hired nearly two dozen new employees, and is looking for more.
Impoco told Capital New York: “We’re trying to put deep reporting in Newsweek and more news in Newsweek.” That can be seen in the new issue, which features articles exploring the level of Iran’s nuclear program, living conditions in Damascus, Syria, and Twitter’s IPO. The sign is they are moving away from the sensationalist approach that The Daily Beast’s Newsweek was criticized about.
The new management of Newsweek may have some elaborate ideas up their sleeve, but as it looks at the moment, the model of a digital-only magazine doesn’t seem fruitful. IBT may be looking for advertisers and exploring a subscription base, but if not, it is a mystery how they will survive. The new issue looks promising for its selection of real news, but it won’t matter when there is no more money to pay the growing staff.