Meacham Defends His Overhaul of Newsweek

The day after Newsweek went on the block, media critics and reporters turned hard against Jon Meacham and criticized him for his editorial vision, and his decision to overhaul the magazine last year (the magazine was redesigned and its rate base was significantly cut). The backlash toward Mr. Meacham was forceful, but surprising–criticisms had, for the most part, gone unwritten for the last year. The Washington Post Company’s sale seemed to spur the pile-on.

But Mr. Meacham, who said he is exploring the possibility of trying to buy the magazine himself along with some unknown rich folks, is undeterred.

In his editor’s letter’s in this week’s issue, Mr. Meacham acknowledged the critics and essentially said: Tough luck.

Newsweek is not a perfect magazine, and there are people who dislike the changes that we made a year ago,” he wrote. “But there are also people who do like the changes, and a magazine is always a work in progress.”

He continued:

A friend and colleague of mine made a telling point last week. He noted that our plan to raise prices, cut circulation (thus saving money on manufacturing, distribution, and subscription services), and focus more on both analysis and long-term original reporting may not be a sure bet, but it was the best bet. I still believe that, and will be making that case to potential buyers and investors.

Meacham Defends His Overhaul of Newsweek