The cover of the first edition of News-Week in February 1933.
by Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
After 80 years in print, Newsweek is going all-digital starting early next year.
The last print edition in the United States will be the December 31 issue, says Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, in a statement.
The Washington Post company sold Newsweek
In 2010 to businessman Sidney Harman for $1 in exchange for taking up its financial obligations. It was Brown's then two-year-old Daily Beast online news operation.
In an announcement, Brown says that the journalism business has been "increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment," and notes that 39% Americans in a recent Pew Research Study say they get their news from an online source.
Brown underscores that by moving Newsweek to an all-digital format "We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it."
"This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism -- that is as powerful as ever," Brown writes. "It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."
In a memo to the Newsweek staff, Brown says she realizes the big announcement would be "unsettling" and has called an 11 a.m. ET meeting today to discuss staff concerns.
"We wish to reassure you the transition is well planned, extremely mindful of the unavoidable impact on our staff and respectful of our readers, advertisers and business partners," she says in the memo.
Aside from Newsweek, SmartMoney announced in June that it was dropping its print publication in favor of a digital format.
Newsweek's decision does not come as a complete surprise, the Associated Press notes. Barry Diller, the head of the company that owns Newsweek, announced in July that the publication was examining its future as a weekly print magazine.
Diller said then that the brand was good around the world, but that producing a weekly news magazine in print form wasn't easy.
The magazine, whose name was originally spelled News-Week, was started in 1933 by a former foreign-news editor for Time magazine.
It has long been second to Time in circulation among news magazines, but began making its mark in the 1960s, under the Post ownership with its coverage of civil rights and by reflecting the glamor and youthful attitude of the Kennedy administration.
We realize news of a big change like this will be unsettling. We wish to reassure you the transition is well planned, extremely mindful of the unavoidable impact on our staff and respectful of our readers, advertisers and business partners.
There will be an all-staff town hall meeting at 11 a.m. on the editorial side of our floor to answer your questions and address your concerns.