Newsweek, fighting for survival, drifts toward irrelevancy

About a year ago, media critic Michael Wolff predicted that Newsweek would go out of business "sometime around the fourth quarter of next year" -- i.e., right around now. That doesn't look like it's going to come true. But nor does it look as far off the mark as Newsweek's parent, the Washington Post Co. (WPO), might hope.

Last week, the magazine laid off a dozen employees in its third round of staff downsizing in less than two years. But Newsweek is shrinking in other ways as well: Ad pages are down 29% year-over-year, while the circulation guarantee is slated to be reduced to 1.5 million in January, down more than 50% from its pre-2008 level.