Newsweek is up for sale again, as the once-powerful magazine edges closer toward oblivion. IAC, which bought Newsweek in 2010 when it merged Newsweek with the Daily Beast, has sent out inquiries to prospective buyers.
Newsweek has been desperately trying to stay alive for some time; it was sold for $1 and assumption of liabilities to IAC, whose chief Barry Diller acknowledged last week that it had been a mistake, saying it was a “fool’s errand if that magazine is a news weekly.”
Newsweek went digital after the sale to IAC, calling the edition Newsweek Global, but Diller added that he did “not have great expectations” for the digital version.
IAC is trying to unload Newsweek by calling it an opportunity to “innovate” a business model, including talk of one-advertiser-per-article sponsorships. IAC says that it will move to “metered” Internet access with $2.99 monthly subscriptions.
The first quarter of 2013, IAC reported losing $8.8 million in its media group, which includes the combined Newsweek and Daily Beast operations, a 31% increase from its $6.7 million loss in the same quarter of 2012. Newsweek had 1.5 million subscribers in the last quarter it had a print edition; that number plummeted to 470,000 in the first quarter of 2013. Online traffic was estimated at 2.9 million unique visitors in January but fell to 1.9 million in April.