Will the Newsweek brand disappear by 2010?

Ed Driscoll thinks so, quoting  business blogger Douglas A. McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street’s list of 10 brands that will disappear in the next year.

The magazine already has slashed its rate base (circulation guaranteed to advertisers) from 3.1 million to 2.5 million. It has announced further cuts that will take this figure to 1.5 million early next year. The New York Times reported that Newsweek’s advertising fell 29.9% through the first three quarters of 2009. According to the 10-Q for The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO), Newsweek ad revenue plunged 47% in the third quarter from the year before. The magazine has lost almost $30 million so far this year. Newsweek had hoped to transform itself into a poor man’s version of the Economist and has largely dropped covering breaking news and reviews of the big stories of the week. The change in the editorial direction of Newsweek may have been the right thing to do, but it came much too late. Newsweek, like many other print products, hopes to rely on internet readership and advertising to improve its fortunes. Audience measurement firm Compete indicates that the audience of Newsweek.com has dropped 15% in the last year to 1.3 million unique visitors a month in October. Audience research firm comScore shows an even sharper decline. That is, by itself, an important indication that the public has not been attracted to the “new” Newsweek. The Washington Post has enough trouble with fixing problems at its flagship paper. Its online news and commentary magazine, Slate.com, had more than 3.8 million visitors in October. Slate has none of the legacy print costs of Newsweek.

Driscoll quotes loads of good analysis from different sources — go read it all.

And frankly — while anecdotal evidence is of course just that — I know several people that aren’t right-wingers by any stretch of the imagination who have canceled their subscriptions over the once-staid newsweekly becoming yet another liberal opinion magazine.

I mean, look at these covers alone:


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