Poor Newsweek. After being turned into a vehicle for buzzy covers by Tina Brown, it finally ended print publication last year. Its owner, Barry Diller, has publicly said that buying it was a “mistake” and now he’s trying to get rid of it. But just how bad have things gotten for the storied mag?
The data wizards at the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism have crunched the numbers, and the results aren’t pretty.
In 2007, Newsweek‘s subscription base was a little less than 3.1 million subscribers. In 2010, the magazine had less than half that number, only 1.54 million. It’s been mostly steady since then, dipping to 1.49 million last year. Average newsstand sales (which Pew says are a better indication of a magazine’s health, or lack thereof) were 96,334 copies in 2007 but only 42,762 in 2010 and 41,354 in 2012.
Obviously, Newsweek is not the only magazine that has seen shrinking circulation and newsstand sales, but it has definitely suffered more than its chief competitor. TIME magazine’s average newsstand sales dropped from 105,241 copies in 2007 to 58,294 in 2012, but its subscription base has barely dipped, going from 3.27 million subscribers in 2007 to 3.22 million subscribers in 2012.