With today’s news that Newsweek will officially quit printing at the end of the year, many many critics will pile on to editor Tina Brown, blaming her for the newsweekly’s demise.
And make no mistake, this is a demise. The Daily Beast, which predates and is different from Newsweek, is the Internet face of that enterprise. There is no good reason to split the brand. Even if Newsweek retains some Internet presence, it will shrink to nothing before long.
Brown didn’t save Newsweek, but she didn’t set it on its death march either. Her tenure as editor was more like very buzz-filled hospice care. She tried to reinvigorate it with Girl Power, and that didn’t work. She tried bringing in names like Andrew Sullivan and David Frum to get more subscribers. Again, a flop. [Read more...]