Newsweek Redesigns Site
As owner Washington Post Co. tries to sell the print publication, Newsweek's Web site is getting a major overhaul. The new design aims to help visitors "quickly make sense of the key events happening throughout the world," says editor Mark Miller.
"When you come to our site, we won't greet you with a dizzying array of a million places to click," he adds. "We'll focus on what matters most, right now. We'll give you new information, a well-informed opinion, or an insightful piece of analysis." Key words: "simplicity" and "clarity."
The redesign is based on a survey of reader opinions about their preferences, including what distinguishes their favorite Web sites and what they expect from a news Web site. The Web site now includes four main components on the Newsweek.com home page: the site lead (a current big story, updated several times over the course of a day), a Newsweek Now content stream resembling a blog, a new feature called The Spectrum aggregating online commentary from across the Web, and simple navigational tools.
Earlier this month, the Washington Post Co. announced it was putting the beleaguered newsweekly up for sale. The owners of distressed media properties usually try to put a positive spin on their decision to sell, but company chairman Donald E. Graham minced no words about the extent of the mag's woes. The article quoted him as saying: "The losses at Newsweek in 2007-2009 are a matter of record. Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek's management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010."
The magazine's ad pages fell 6.7% in 2007, 19% in 2008, and 26% in 2009, dropping from 1,991 in 2006 to 1,117 in 2009 -- an overall drop of 44% in just three years, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Over the same period, the title's official rate card revenues fell by half, from $483.3 million to $241 million. In the first quarter of 2010, ad pages fell another 20.4% to 208. The Washington Post Co. has hired Allen & Co. to determine the feasibility and handle the logistics of a potential sale.
MSN and Rodale Partner for Health Site
MSN and magazine publisher Rodale Inc. are teaming up for a new online project, which will draw on the publisher's magazine content to populate an MSN-branded site devoted to health topics. The new site, scheduled to debut sometime this fall, will cover subjects like diet, fitness, nutrition, with a variety of content drawn from Rodale flagship publications including Men's Health, Women's Health, Prevention, Runner's World and Bicycling. The announcement comes not long after MSN announced a similar partnership with Hachette Filipacchi to create a site called Glo.com, which is dedicated to fashion, beauty, and women's lifestyle topics.
Atlantic Puts Business Site On Hold
Atlantic Media is not moving forward with its plan to create a new site devoted to business, according to Daily Finance. Michael Kinsley, who was hired to serve as the business site's editor in October, told DF that he decided against heading up the project in January.
Kinsley, the former editor of The New Republic and the founder of Slate, will continue contributing a daily opinion column to the Web site and articles to the print magazine. His planned replacement as head of the business site, Adam Pasick, is leaving the company to serve as managing editor of New York's Web site.
Janice Min To Revamp Hollywood Reporter
Janice Min, the former high-profile editor of Us Weekly, is jumping to The Hollywood Reporter -- the venerable daily trade publication -- where she will serve as editorial director. She is tasked with revamping the magazine as a more mass-market weekly trade magazine.
The makeover will draw on THR's already substantial coverage of the entertainment business and close knowledge of celebrities, but will not be a retread of Us Weekly, according to The Wrap. At the end of last year, THR was acquired by E5 Global Media, which subsequently hired Richard Beckman -- formerly of Conde Nast -- as CEO.