Newsweek newsstand
Credit: Image by aikijuanma on Flickr. Creative commons licence. Some rights reserved.

International news magazine Newsweek today announced online that it will be axing its print edition at the end of the year, as it moves to digital-only in 2013.

In an online post on the Daily Beast website, Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company and chief executive Baba Shetty confirmed that "the last print edition in the United States will be our 31 December issue".

The "all-digital publication" to launch next year will be named Newsweek Global and will see Newsweek "expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business", according to the announcement.

The publication "will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context".

"Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the web, with select content available on The Daily Beast."

We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it representsTina Brown and Baba Shetty, Newsweek
In a memo to staff, published on Newsweek's Tumblr, Brown adds that the move to a digital-only operation means the company expects "staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the United States and internationally".

"More details on the new organisational structure will be shared individually in the coming weeks and months," she added.

"We realise news of a big change like this will be unsettling. We wish to reassure you the transition is well planned, extremely mindful of the unavoidable impact on our staff and respectful of our readers, advertisers and business partners."

The announcement post on the Daily Beast website adds that the "business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment", but Newsweek's digital content has meanwhile "built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast".

"Tablet use has grown rapidly among our readers and with it the opportunity to sustain editorial excellence through swift, easy digital distribution - a superb global platform for our award-winning journalism.

"By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago."

It adds that the announcement is a transition of Newsweek, and they are "not saying goodbye to it".

"We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism – that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."

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