Newsweek Offers More Buyouts, to Cut 10 Jobs

This item was reposted from The Ticker blog on Economy Watch.

Newsweek magazine, which is owned by The Washington Post Co., told employees today that the magazine is extending early-retirement, or "buyout," packages offered earlier this year and will lay off 10 employees.

Newsweek, like all news weekly magazines, has seen its readership and ad revenue drop in recent years as the news cycle continues to speed up. As such, the magazines have worked to re-invent themselves to include more commentary and less breaking news, in an attempt to maintain their value.

Newsweek's ad revenue dropped 13 percent through the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period last year, The Post Co. reported in October.

The magazine dropped its "rate base," meaning the number of copies in circulation guaranteed to advertisers, from 3.1 million per week to 2.6 million this year, and will maintain that level for at least the next six months, the magazine said today.

Also, unlike U.S. News & World Report, which said last month it will move from weekly to monthly publication, Newsweek plans on remaining a weekly.

The buyout offers were accepted by 117 Newsweek employees earlier this year; today's buyout offer was extended to "substantially fewer" people, the magazine said. To qualify for the buyout, Newsweek employees need one year of service at the magazine.

"We are living in tough times, but it is important to remember that the appetite for news is great, and more specifically, the appetite for Newsweek is strong," Post Co. senior vice president Ann McDaniel said to staffers today. "Our goal is not simply to survive. It is to win, to grow, and to prosper. We have a vision for the future and a plan to take our company forward."

At a Wall Street conference earlier this week, Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham said that both Newsweek and The Post will lose money this year.

-- Frank Ahrens

By Terri Rupar  |  December 11, 2008; 2:45 PM ET  | Category:  Economy Watch , Media , Washington Post
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