Good News for ‘Newsweek’

Ad pages flat for first time in a year

After a year of year-on-year declines in ad pages, Newsweek has something to celebrate. For July, at least, it has stopped that decline, which could mean improved advertiser confidence in the brand.

Last year, the magazine had 52 ad pages for the month of July; this year it will be the same. 

Many marketers have taken a wait-and-see approach to Newsweek as it's gone through two ownership changes, a vacancy in the editor's role, and a redesign in the past year. Ray Chelstowski, the publisher, credited the improvement to pages from former clients like AT&T and Apple, plus new ones that are testing the waters, like David Yurman, Progressive, and Toyota. 

"With a 25 percent rise in newsstand sales, we're thrilled to be where we knew Tina [Brown, editor] and the team would take the magazine at this point in the year,” Chelstowski said in an email. (Newsweek previously revealed that subscription orders from blow-in cards, a significant circulation source, are up 25 percent year over year since Brown redesigned the magazine in March.)

Newsweek's numbers have been heavily scrutinized since it combined with The Daily Beast earlier this year in hopes that a merged operation would help erase their steep losses. The July number is a sign things are moving in the right direction, but Newsweek still has a long way to go; in the first quarter of 2011, its ad pages plummeted 31 percent year over year.