Washington Post Puts Newsweek Magazine Up for Sale
The Washington PostCo. is putting Newsweek up for sale in hopes that another owner can figure out how to stem losses at the 77-year-old weekly magazine.
While magazines in general have struggled with steep declines in advertising revenue because of the recession, news magazines such as Newsweek face the added pressures from up-to-the-second online news. Once handy digests of the week's events, they have been assailed by competitors on the Web that pump out a constant stream of news and commentary.
Despite staff cuts, Newsweek has remained a drag on its parent company, which is also struggling with ad declines at its namesake newspaper.
The Post Co. said Wednesday that it has retained the investment bank Allen & Co. to help find a buyer for the magazine.
With advertising revenue falling across the industry, Newsweek has been piling up losses since 2007. In a statement Wednesday, Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham said he expects those losses to continue this year.
"Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere," Graham said.
Newsweek, which recently underwent a top-to-bottom redesign, was founded in 1933 and has been owned by the Post Co. since 1961.
The Post Co.'s magazine division had an operating loss of $29.3 million last year, compared with a $16.1 million loss the year before. Newsweek sold about 26 percent fewer ad pages in 2009 than the year before, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. That percentage decline was consistent with the industry average.
In December, the Post Co. said it was selling Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine to Fletcher Asset Management, a New York investment firm. Terms were not disclosed.