Next Monday, Newsweek will reveal a new, reformatted, slicker version of itself. If you want a little hint as to what the new Newsweek will be like, you can check out the New York Observer‘s profile of editor Jon Meacham.
Profiler John Koblin gets a peek into the world of the Tennessee-born, Pulitzer Prize winner (Meacham won for his biography of Andrew Jackson, “American Lion”) who can rub elbows with celebrities but “doesn’t crave being in the in-crowd.”
The article is also worth a read for its insight into Newsweek‘s new look (hint: they use a new, pretty font):
“The new magazine is loaded with style. The magazine will be consolidated into four sections: Scope (formerly periscope) for news squibs in the front-of-the-book; The Take will be its section for columnists; Features (which is tagged “the first rough draft of history”); and “The Culture.” The back page will be called “The Back Page.” It’s stripped down. Instead of a screaming banner running across the cover, now it’s condensed and tighter, and the banner floats at the top of the magazine in a red box. The palettes are softer and more elegant. New fonts are used in the magazine, including Archer, a signature font of the most un-Newsweek of all magazines: Martha Stewart Living. Cerebral and direct, unsnarky and anti-ironic, with cool hues and fonts to match.
What Koblin doesn’t address is whether the new Newsweek — which “will essentially be a monthly that publishes every week” — will increase revenues for the magazine and do its part to save the dying newsweekly genre. However, he does mention that the book is planning to cut its rate base and its has “fallen deep into the red.”
We tend to agree with Koblin: “An experimental reinvention — a Hail Mary pass — is what the magazine needs to save itself.” What do you think?