In today’s media world print editions are turning into websites, and websites are turning into apps. But not for Newsweek. Following its acquisition by The Daily Beast, it has been announced that Newsweek.com will be shut down.
Newsweek, Newsweek.com and Daily Beast staffs are expected to be combined following the merger, and while TheDailyBeast.com will remain live, Newsweek.com will be closed and users will be redirected to the Daily Beast page.
While there are a lot of details still being worked out around this acquisition, its clear that shutting down Newsweek.com is a suspect and strange move.
First let’s look at readership. Newsweek’s circulation is just under 2 million, while Newsweek.com has 3.8 million monthly unique visitors. Meanwhile, TheDailyBeast.com has 1.5 million monthly unique visitors (these numbers are from Compete.com).
So basically, following the acquisition, the property with the most traffic (Newsweek.com) is the one getting the boot. It’s a sign that the people making these decisions are out of tune or in denial about the future of media and which platform news will be delivered on.
Instead of shutting down Newsweek.com (which, by the way, is home to millions and millions of stories, images and multimedia) The Daily Beast should be working on developing a better site that’s more interactive, creative and interesting. Develop a better app for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, and design an amazing tablet app that will appeal to readers.
Luckily, staff at Newsweek.com don’t seem content on letting their site die. A Tumblr page has already been created in defense of Newsweek.com.