Newsweek cuts issues to cut costs, and healthier rival Time follows suit

NEWSWEEK will skip publishing four issues this summer, in an effort to staunch the bleeding of cash.

In its original editorial calendar, the magazine scheduled just one dark week around the July 4th weekend. Now staffers have been furloughed the week of June 13-17, with no issue planned for June 20. Likewise, they won’t be coming into work the weeks before July 25 and August 22, since those issues also are cancelled.

Ray Chelstowski, Newsweek’s publisher, put a positive spin on the latest ad revenue figures by saying that, although the magazine’s year-over-year ad pages declined by 23%, it was “another indicator that our business is moving in the right direction.”

They are not alone in closing the doors and turning out the lights to save money. TIME magazine plans to go dark for a week in August, when usually it only does that for one week at the end of December. Yet, Time is in a healthier position, with ad pages up by 10.7%, double that of Newsweek. And due to extra issues commemorating the royal wedding and the killing of Osama bin Laden, Time still will publish its customary 51 issues this year.

So, can Newsweek diet its way to financial solvency by cutting days? And what does it mean for the magazine’s staff? Perhaps we’ll have some answers after Labor Day, when everyone gets back from the beach.

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