MINNEAPOLIS - The impending demise of the Newsweek print edition did not surprise editors of two of Minnesota's most prominent published information sources. Both said Newsweek's days were numbered.
The publishers of Newsweek have announced that the magazine will cease print publication on New Year's Eve of this year. Newsweek is published in New York and has been available on newsstands for 79 years.
"I think Newsweek was particularly vulnerable to the changes brought by the internet," said Kevin Hoffman, Editor-in-Chief of City Pages. "They were always a magazine that summarized the week's news at the end of the week. Well, one of the things the internet did was it kind of sped things up. Now we do not even wait 'til the next day for breaking news and interpretation of breaking news. That is happening on the internet all day long."
Hoffman said City Pages will remain free on newsstands in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. "We have about 90,000 circulation. We have made some good headway on the web, trying to become the first stop in the morning for people who want to know what is going on the day."
Hoffman said City Pages print edition delivers around 70 percent of the publication's revenue. He agrees with editor Jayne Haugen Olson of Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine that advertisers have lots of choices of where to put their dollars.
"Maybe it is survival of the fittest or the strongest," said Haugen Olson. Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine is super strong. Our newsstand sales are up 10 percent over last year."
Haugen Olson and Hoffman share a belief that their local outlets offer coverage beyond the capabilities of national publications.
"Newsweek is a news vehicle and people are getting their news from so many different places, but a city magazine that really covers local retail, local restaurants, local theatre, you cannot get that from national outlets. You can really only get that from your own backyard," said Haugen Olson.
"We are talking about new restaurants opening, the acts that are coming to town," said Hoffman. "That has a much longer shelf life. You could read a City Pages feature three months later after the fact and it is still just as relevant. If you look at a Newsweek from even three weeks ago, it is old news and there is nothing in there for you."
Both publications have a presence on the internet as well as mobile devices. Haugen Olson said MSP Communications, the parent company of Minneapolis/Saint Paul Magazine, adjusts style and content to where readers would be and how they would be reading the stories.
"What we have on mspmag.com is different than we have what is in print, what is different than e-newsletters," said Haugen Olson. "So, we think about the portability, where people are, when they are at home, versus in their car."
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