What’s the future of Newsweek in Asia?

Newsweek‘s decision to cease print and go fully digital in 2013 has raised questions over its operations in Asia.

In its official statement, Newsweek said job cuts are expected in US along with other markets. However, it did not explain in details the impact on “other markets”.

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast company in the official statement said: “Newsweek’s business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment and a shift has been seen in the number of audience accessing content online.”

The magazine’s last print edition in the US will be for the 31 December issue.

The online edition Newsweek Global will target a “mobile, opinion-leading audience”. It will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.

The move is not totally unexpected as Newsweek’s owner and internet company InterActiveCorp’s chairman, Barry Diller (pictured),  said at IAC’s second quarter conference, in July this year, that investments next year will be “significantly less than it is this year.”

The future of Newsweek in Asia remains uncertain with more details expected next week, sources told Marketing.

Newsweek was founded in 1933 by former Time editor Thomas Martyn. From the early 1960s, the Washington Post Company owned the titled and later, sold it to audio tycoon Sidney Harman in 2010 for a dollar in exchange for assuming the magazine’s financial liabilities.

After Harmans death, his family’s estate decided to stop investing in Newsweek leaving Diller and IAC with full ownership of the title.

Newsweek merged with The Daily Beast website two years ago with Brown serving as editor of both the titles.

Figures from ComScore suggest that The Daily Beast has seen steadily growing with total unique visitors from the APAC region climbing to 495,000 from 220,000 (Sep 2011-Sep 2012).

However, it lags far behind Wall Street Journal Asia-Pacific’s online version which saw 10,029,000 total unique visitors in the month of September 2012 alone. Similarly, other online competitors such as the Economist boasted 818,000 and Time, 1,547,000 total unique visits in the same month.

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