For more than a year, Thomas Ascheim, the former Nickelodeon cable executive who is Newsweek’s chief executive; Jon Meacham, editor; and Fareed Zakaria, international editor, have plotted the radical remaking of a product that had lost its relevance as a news source years ago as readers turned to the internet and cable news…A prototype of the redesign…is a cleaner take on the old, with more white space and bolder photographs. The launch will coincide with a relaunch of Newsweek.com that will replace wire copy with links to the best sources of online news, even if published by rivals.
Newsweek intends to court a high-end audience seeking in-depth commentary and reporting. It plans to leave the mass market behind by cutting the circulation it guarantees to advertisers, from 2.6m to 1.5m by January. Subscription prices are expected to double, executives said, and $25m could be saved annually from printing and distribution costs. Newsweek has cut 160 staff through voluntary redundancies and a handful of layoffs, but protected a stable of star columnists, correspondents and contributors.