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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 06:30 PM ET, 10/18/2012

Kurtz on Newsweek/Daily Beast: ‘I’ll be sticking around’


(KAREN BLEIER - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Howard Kurtz, the former Washington Post media reporter who bolted to the Daily Beast in 2010, feels “wistful” about the decision to end Newsweek’s print run on Dec. 31. “I’m an old print guy, and there’s something iconic about magazine brands, and I like holding a publication in my hands,” says Kurtz, the Beast’s Washington bureau chief and host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” On the other hand: Shutting down the print edition “is the only decision that makes sense in a tough business environment where most of the journalistic action is moving online,” he told this blog today. (Newsweek and the Daily Beast merged in late 2010, not long after Kurtz left The Post.)

Tina Brown, founder of the Daily Beast, signaled in a memo today that the folding of the physical Newsweek will coincide with “staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.” The reducing and streamlining won’t claim Kurtz. “I’ll be sticking around,” he says, adding that he’ll have input into the newsroom’s imminent transformation, “but a lot of the decisions have yet to be made,” says Kurtz. “We’re all in the process of figuring out how to move more forcefully into the digital era.”

Given Newsweek’s often-limited newshole, Kurtz says that 90 percent of his contributions wound up in the DailyBeast.com and BeastTV. “That’s true for a lot of the staff members,” he says. “Everywhere I go, people from all walks of life tell me they love the Daily Beast and the surging traffic reflects that. To be able to concentrate on the online product without the burden of putting out a print magazine . . . could prove to be a plus.”

But what about the plan to turn “Newsweek Global” into a product “supported by paid subscription and . . . available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web”? “There’s no doubt that Newsweek can remain a vital online brand,” says Kurtz. “There are legitimate questions about . . . the size of the audience for an all-digital magazine because I think that genre is still in the process of being invented.”

By  |  06:30 PM ET, 10/18/2012

Tags:  howard kurtz daily beast, howard kurtz newsweek daily beast, newsweek print cancellation, newsweek print tina brown kurtz, newsweek print editiion, newsweek tina brown howard kurtz

 
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