Are you interested in being “part of the national conversation” and owning a still living relic of a bygone publishing ecosystem? Well, you still have a few hours left to put in a bid on Newsweek, if you have a few million dollars lying around. Don’t worry, Kaplan Test Prep’s unprofitable publishing arm will probably take on most of the thing’s debt, just so its high-level officers don’t have to have the experience of spotting the magazine mouldering in a gutter somewhere and thinking “Fuck, do we still publish that?” But believe it or not, you might have some competition for your bid. Who could possibly want this desiccated magazine-corpse?
Well, according to a totally reliable Web site that we just now heard of called the “European Institutional Investor Online Portal,” Christopher Ruddy, publisher of the right-wing tabloid Newsmax.com apparently has a plan to do this! It seems like a totally logical thing to happen, since Ruddy is flush with cash from text ads like “Men Report Marriages ‘Revived’ By Pheromones” and “Male Enhancement Exposed – Pilot Tells His Secret” and “Colon Cleansing: Is it Helpful or Harmful?” And now he’ll be able to get important news stories like “Biologists Says Oil Spill Won’t Wipe out Shrimp; Will Instead Make It More Delicious” to the few remaining old people who only read things after they’ve been printed on paper and sent through the U.S. mail.
Anyway, if you do end up beating Ruddy and owning the thing, you’ll of course want to “leverage” the storied “brand” to get your ugly face on “television,” which will help you get “laid.” This can only help make you “money,” right, cogent writer from DailyFinance?
The idea that editors of print publications need to be multi-platform brand ambassadors has gained a lot of currency in the past few years, for fairly obvious reasons: As consumers spend ever less time with print and ever more with digital media, it’s logical to follow them. But merely getting on TV a lot, as a guest on Morning Joe or Charlie Rose or the Meet the Press, is a pursuit with costs but no obvious benefits, at least for so-called “thought leader” magazines that, like Newsweek, depend only to a minimal extent on newsstand sales. When editors and writers are helping TV producers fill their airtime, they may be “sharing their opinions” in “important conversations,” but what they’re not doing is editing or writing or conducting the type of groundbreaking journalism that sparks those conversations.
We would have voted that the “obvious reasons” were more along the lines of “these people are all attention whores,” but whatever, that will work too. Anyway, long story short, buy Newsweek and then turn it into a spank mag, it’ll be hilarious.