First issue of Newsweek

Newsweek has announced today that it will publish its final print edition on of Dec. 31 of this year.

First published on Feb. 19, 1933, Newsweek will fall just short of celebrating its 80th birthday as a printed weekly news magazine when it transitions to an all digital format in early 2013. The new edition will be called Newsweek Global and will be a single global edition of the publication that will run in conjunction with The Daily Beast site that was launched a few years ago by the magazine.

Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown said of the transition to the all digital format, "In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead." Brown went on to add, "Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night. But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future."

The decision was explained as just simply moving with the times. The Daily Beast has seen its monthly unique visitors grow to over 15 million, an increase of 70 percent this year alone. With the number of tablets expected to exceed 70 million by the end of this year in the U.S. alone, and 39 percent of of Americans now getting their news solely from online sources, dropping the expensive to produce print edition does seem to make sense for the company.

There will be layoffs both in the U.S. and internationally, but the announcement does not indicate how many will be impacted.

[via The Daily Beast]