“Vanity Fair meets The New Yorker”—though a NewsBeast rep strenuously denied it—is how, a trustworthy advertising source tells Adweek, Tina Brown is describing the redesigned Newsweek, which she’s now showing off to the ad community in prototype form.
No question, Newsweek is in need of a serious makeover—a newsweekly in a world that has passed newsweeklies by. It’s been hemorrhaging money, and, since aging businessman Sidney Harman bought it from The Washington Post Co. last year, editorial talent.
But drawing on Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, two titles Brown once helmed (and hey, didn’t she once describe Talk magazine as a combination of those two?), seems problematic. One is a monthly glossy filled with celebrity and culture news, the other a highbrow literary magazine that’s not especially known for its commercial success. Neither has made much headway on the Web.
Then again, few things seemed more incredible than the merger of the 76-year-old Newsweek and the two-year-old Daily Beast in the first place.