U.S. News Magazine Exits the Print Business


U.S. News & World Report

isn't for sale. Wealthy owner Mort Zuckerman wants to keep the magazine, he just doesn't want to print it, so U.S. News will go completely online next year. December will be the print magazine's last issue.

U.S. News was once a weekly magazine that competed with Time and Newsweek. It changed its frequency to every two weeks in 2008. That move's finances didn't work, so it quickly changed to once a month.

According toThe New York Times, U.S. News won't lay off any workers as part of the move. The company works with a bare-bones staff already, following years of layoffs.

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U.S. News has an editorial product that lends itself to online-only. It relies heavily on long lists like "Best Colleges" and "Best Hospitals." The data from these lists are easier to sort through and view on a computer than in print.

The move by U.S. News saves it from the fate of Newsweek, which was recently sold for $1 by Washington Post Co.(WPO) to billionaire Sidney Harman. Newsweek still loses so much money that it may not be viable.

U.S. News may have learned something from newspapers. More and more papers have gone online and killed their print editions. The daily newspaper in Ann Arbor, Mich., a midsize market, last year discontinued its print product because it couldn't stanch the bleeding that came from buying newsprint and operating the presses and trucks needed to get newspapers to peoples' homes.

U.S. News online may serve as a template for other magazines. Print isn't dead, but it is dying.