Newsweek magazine has lost its owners many scores of millions of dollars over the past few years. In 2010, The Washington Post Company sold it for $1 to a left-wing startup, Daily Beast, which was already losing money when they bought Newsweek. The Daily Beast became the Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Newsweek magazine then became the pet project of liberal Billionaire Sidney Harman, who dumped millions keeping it in print. Harman’s wife Jane Harman, a very left-wing former congresswoman from California, sits on the board of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company.
Sidney Harman passed away last year and the family doesn’t want to keep pumping millions into subsidizing the paper. This week, the family announced that they are pulling their money. Newsweek Daily Beast Company now says the magazine will soon fold and only remain as a website.
However, printing and mailing the magazine is not the most prohibitive cost. The massive pension liability is where most of the millions are being lost.
Explaining the collapse of the 79 year old publication is easy. It went so far to the extreme left that it no longer had an audience. Newsweek has had a liberal bias for a long time. In 1996, Newsweek’s Washington Bureau Chief and later Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas stated “there is a liberal bias at Newsweek.”
The year 2007 marked the year that all pretense of balance was thrown out the window. First the magazine developed an intense infatuation with Barack Obama. They began running Christ like pictures of Obama on the front page once a month. During the election the magazine ran an anti-Sarah Palin cover that was in such poor taste that even other liberal publications denounced it.
The magazine’s circulation had been relatively stable since 1989. However it began a freefall collapse in 2007.
Then in September of 2009, Newsweek published the most notorious magazine cover of the past decade. The “Is Your Baby Racist” edition.
Newsweek pulled all the stops. The issue was practically a declaration of war against white people. The magazine called for Afrocentric school curriculum and for black children to be taught “ethnic pride.”
Then it stated “It’s horrifying to imagine kids being proud to be white.” The article goes on to say that white children should be made to feel guilty to “knock down their glorified view of white people.”
The Daily Beast is a left-wing news website founded in October 2008. Even though the Daily Beast had never posted a profitable quarter, the bought Newsweek for $1 in November 2010 and assumed its liabilities. The company became Newsweek Daily Beast. It was 50% owned by IAC and 50% by Sidney Harman.
The new owners slowed the circulation freefall, but have not been able to reverse it. Circulation has still dropped under the new ownership. The company lost an estimated $30 million in 2011.
As I said earlier Sidney Harman past away last year. His family is pulling out their money. Newsweek will soon cease publication and just be a website. It is extremely unlikely that website alone will generate enough revenue to cover their liabilities.