October 23, 2012 - NPR
The word tenacious can also describe Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, and also a regular guest on this program. She had made headlines at many magazines over the years and also made headlines on those magazines. Last week, Brown announced that Newsweek will end its print edition in January. But instead of going out of business, she says she wants to go on. She wants to turn Newsweek into an electronic magazine for tablet readers, like the iPad, supported by advertising and reader subscriptions.
TINA BROWN: Newsweek is a very, very powerful global brand. This is a brand with an 80-year deep background, deep history. It is widely, widely recognized. It is very difficult, I think, to launch from scratch a digital magazine product. But I think, you know, a brand like Newsweek, when there are only three or four such big news brands in the world, you know, and Newsweek is one of them.
INSKEEP: But you're trying to get people behind a pay wall with this one here.
BROWN: Yes. We have people subscribing now. You know, we have 44,000 subscribers just beginning in January with our Newsweek iPad, and we're going to be able to transfer many of our subscribers from Newsweek print to Newsweek digital, and we believe we can grow on that. And we've also - have a business plan, however, that, you know, has other ways as well to make revenue. And we have a digital parent company, NIAC. It was really print that in a sense was an anomaly in that company, so we're, you know, we're going to be in a much better place now to maximize our digital assets.
INSKEEP: Here's one of the challenges of people publishing digitally. It seems that many of the most successful news websites are basically aggregators. They either link to or rewrite other people's original material and get readers very cheaply that way. It is harder to make money if you are producing original content. Can you make the budget work to be producing original content that is sufficient for people to buy it and still make a profit?
BROWN: We do believe that, yes, because The Daily Beast has developed such an extraordinarily strong following amongst a high demographic who are now beginning to go to The Daily Beast as their - really as their prime news site, which was something we didn't even aspire to when we began. And that, of course, only happens with original content. We have broken so much news in the last few months. I mean we have really led on the whole Libya story from Eli Lake's brilliant reporting. That is original. That's not about aggregation.
Full story at NPR