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Newsweek goes all-digital, will cease print publishing at end of 2012

Mel Martin

Newsweek Magazine is almost 80 years old, but the print edition isn't going to get much older. The magazine's December 31 issue will be the final one in paper-and-ink format. After that, Newsweek will be all-digital and change its name to Newsweek Global.

Newsweek Global will be available for reading in web browsers and on the iPad and other tablets. Newsweek merged with The Daily Beast in 2010, and some Newsweek content will appear on The Daily Beast website.

Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown wrote: "Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night. But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose and embrace the all-digital future."

For now, Time Magazine is the standard-bearer among the few major US news magazines still being printed (US News and World Report ceased print publication in 2011). Former Time Inc. interactive editor/NYT public editor Daniel Okrent told Columbia J-school students in 1999 that they would see the death of print in their professional lifetimes (in the process, describing an intriguing tablet-style reader device featuring finger-swipe page turns and "a cellular hookup to a satellite-connected database" for downloading new content); it looks like Okrent's forecast continues on target.

Not everything is perfect on the digital publishing side either, however. E-newspaper The Daily, started by Rupert Murdoch last year, has seen a rocky birth, with iPad and other tablet editions available on a paid subscription basis. The toolsets for digital publishers are improving steadily, with Adobe, Mag+ and Aquafadas (among many others) providing comprehensive solutions.

Newsweek already has an iPad app available, with in-app purchases for each issue.

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