Newsweek tries to stem the red ink with smaller – but well heeled – demographics

NEWSWEEK expects to ‘operate less in the red’ in 2010 and hope for profitability in 2011, according to Thomas Ascheim, chief executive of Newsweek.

The magazine has switched from chasing high circulation to a focus on a smaller, but more lucrative, higher-income readership that appeals more to advertisers.  In addition, Newsweek lowered its rate base (the minimum circulation promised to advertisers.)  In 2008-2009, the rate base was dropped in increments from 3.1 million to 1.9 million and this month it was planned to be further lowered to 1.5 million.

The publisher, The Post Company, has reported that its magazine division (primarily comprised of Newsweek) suffered a $4.3 million loss in third-quarter 2009 operating costs following $25 million lost in the first half of the year.  “It’s been a disgusting economy, in case nobody else noticed,” Ascheim said.

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