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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Today, the new Newsweek hits newsstands. The revamped magazine features more diverse topics, heavier paper and sleeker graphics. The Washington Post sold the news rag last year, unloading it after projecting losses of $20 million a year.
Rick Edmonds is media business analyst at the Poynter Institute. Good morning.
RICK EDMONDS: Good to be with you.
CHIOTAKIS: What do magazines, Rick, do to satisfy the people who buy them. I mean, that they can’t get from an online source. I mean is it force of habit, is it some tactile sense — I mean what is it, a sense of having an article to save? What is it?
EDMONDS: I think the tactile part is a part of it. And just as there are some people who still prefer the print version of the newspaper, though they can get much the same thing and more often for free on the web, there are people who enjoy having a magazine. It’s portability, the way it displays the mix of content — editor and advertising.
CHIOTAKIS: Will that save magazines, then? This thing that people have for you know the printed word?
EDMONDS: Well, it’s a tough business and not all are surviving and in fact Newsweek might very easy have gone out of business last year had not Mr. Harmon come along and taken it off the hands of The Washington Post Company. It was loosing about $20 million a year.
CHIOTAKIS: What makes people think Tina Brown can save Newsweek.
EDMONDS: Well not everything she’s touched has turned to gold, but she’s had some very notable successes. She was one of the first editors in what has turned out to be a really golden period for The New Yorker, and also had terrific success with Vanity Fair. So she brings both a lot of experience and background and a certain flare that is always good for magazines.
CHIOTAKIS: Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at the Poynter Institute in Florida. Rick thanks.
EDMONDS: OK enjoyed it. Thank you.
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