Newsweek Is Getting A Redesign

Newsweek Plans Makeover to Fit a Smaller Audience
by By Richard Pérez-Peña

I thought this article about Newsweek redesigning their magazine for a niche community was an interesting read. With so many magazines closing these days, it’s kind of cool to see one of the old guard taking some drastic steps to keep their doors open.

A deep-rooted part of the newsweekly culture has been to serve a mass audience, but that market has been shrinking, and new subscribers come at a high price in call centers, advertising and deeply discounted subscriptions.

“Mass for us is a business that doesn’t work,” said Tom Ascheim, Newsweek’s chief executive. “Wish it did, but it doesn’t. We did it for a long time, successfully, but we can’t anymore.”

The magazine will replace its thin paper with heavier stock that is more appealing to advertisers and readers. It will also put more emphasis on photography. Pages of a mock issue that Mr. Meacham displayed in his office on West 57th Street in Manhattan show a cleaner, less cluttered layout that has more open space and fewer pages that seem an uninterrupted sea of words.

It sounds to me like they’re trying to turn themselves into Monocle, which with it’s $10 price tag and luxury advertisers in every issue, isn’t a bad move. I just wish they’d redesign that logo of their’s. The red block is iconic, but that type needs to be refreshed and re-set.


February 9, 2009