Last night TV person Jon Stewart asked Newsweek editor John Meacham, “Who is making money in the magazine business who does what you do? Who is a successful model?” And you can guess what Meacham said: “The Economist.” Okay so, this is something we have heard for years now, from everyone, and it became a huge joke, and guess what? Maybe there’s only room for one The Economist! Maybe your weirdly redesigned, money-losing magazine ($500,000 a week!) isn’t The Economist! Which, by the way, despite its charms, isn’t the only kind of magazine in the world! And which, you know, other magazines are not really being, either in print or online. They go too big.
On top is the news top of the The Economist web site; on the bottom is the hectic, insane, keyword-loaded Newsweek website.
Pakistan! Tiger Woods! Chaos!
A newsweekly was always charged with being all things to all people. (Healthcare! Unemployment!) I’m not sure that’s a game I’d want to get into-even if I had pageviews the size of the population of Canada. Because how do you get that? The Gawker Media niche websites have total web traffic more than three times as big as Newsweek’s attempt to be everything to everyone.