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US News & World Report now converts to monthly, to shift operations online gradually

The struggling US News & World Report is getting out of print and will gradually shift operations to the Web, according to reports.

While it will publish one print edition each month, according to staffers briefed on the decision, these will be entirely devoted to consumer guides—such as its annual rankings of colleges and hospitals—and contain no other news, the Washington Post reported.

Some details from the Post report: [Link]

The Washington-based magazine, owned by real estate developer Mort Zuckerman, has long been outsold by Time and Newsweek, and several rounds of layoffs in recent years have left US News a shell of its former self. High-profile writers such as Roger Simon, now with Politico, were let go.

President Bill Holiber and editor Brian Kelly sent the staff a remarkably upbeat memo, considering that the move ends regular publication of what was founded as United States News in 1933.

The shift to the Web site, now attracting about 7 million unique monthly visitors, "allows us to stay ahead of a changing media landscape and do an even better job of motivating our readers to act on the information we provide them," they wrote. "For all of you who have worked so hard to make this transition possible, say good-bye to Web 2.0 and welcome to Journalism 5.0." Kelly did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Teams will produce "special reports, daily news updates, blogs, newsletters, rankings, guides and videos," the memo said. The staff has shrunk to the point that few additional layoffs are expected. At the end of 2007, US News' circulation was just over 2 million, trailing Time, with 3.4 million, and Newsweek, owned by The Washington Post Co, with 3.1 million.

The New York Times too had some backgrounder: [Link]

Less than a year ago, US News still published weekly, but this year it began publishing less often, and in June, it announced that, come January, it would publish every two weeks. Executives conceded then that the magazine had ceased to be a newsweekly competing directly with Time and Newsweek.

But apparently even that plan has been deemed too ambitious, and has been declared dead before it could be put into place, according to employees of the magazine, who said they were informed this week that US News would go monthly. They were granted permission to speak only if they did so anonymously.

Date posted: November 5, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 640