Elizabeth Spayd, the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, announced in a note to readers on Wednesday that the nonprofit magazine would be reducing its print schedule from six issues a year to two.
CJR‘s rationale is similar to that of the media outlets it covers: print readership is going down, and online readership is going up. According to Ms. Spayd, this change has been particularly stark at CJR—while the amount of print subscriptions has plummeted, online traffic is up 35 percent.
“Continuing to spend so many resources on print is, regrettably, limiting our ability to invest fully in digital,” Ms. Spayd said. “This strategic shift will allow us to move more forcefully into the realm our readers already inhabit, without abandoning print.”
Ms. Spayd also assured longtime readers that the magazine will continue to investigate and profile both media institutions and people, as “the watchdog of the watchdogs.”
CJR‘s two print issues will be released in the spring and fall, and will have a greater focus on high-concept themes in the world of journalism.
Ms. Spayd ended her letter by assuring readers that CJR is as strong as ever.
“When a publication cuts back on print, it usually triggers dire predictions that another shoe will drop,” Ms. Spayd said. “But there is no other shoe in CJR’s case.”
Attracting new readers to old journalism brands, through form or content, seems like the media problem of the week—the CJR announcement came just one day after Condé Nast acquired Pitchfork to increase its millennial appeal.