The Newsweek Diet

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If your dog or young child went from 106 pounds to 62 pounds, people would notice. Well, my weekly news magazine did just that, and boy, did I notice! I have been wondering why recent issues of Newsweek seemed feathery-light. The venerable mag is now smaller than the monthly Reach coupon circular.

Before sounding off about this, I thought it best to do a little research to confirm my suspicions. I dug up the October 30, 2000, issue and counted 106 pages. Sixty of them are advertising! That’s another story in itself which will not be addressed here. The current issue (July 30, 2007) has a total of 62 pages! Sixteen of them were ads.

So, let’s do the math. The amount of content hasn’t changed. Forty-six pages in each issue. But, oh, the advertising! In the 2000 issue, there were about as many ad pages as there were total pages this week. As Bozo the Clown used to bellow, “Wowie Kazowie!”. Even adjusting for inflation, with the higher cost per ad, this is a big slide. And those award-winning reporters and columnists get paid a lot more than your basic blogger.

Just more proof that the print industry is withering up and dying. Advertising professionals are the butt of many jokes, but they do spend their clients’ money wisely, for the most part. If they thought that the print version of a famous weekly news magazine was a good buy, this week’s Newsweek would still be in the triple digit page range.

Thursday, July 26: F***book F***ed Up!

Friday, July 27: The FCC, Congress, and the NAB Challenge Satellite Radio Merger: You Can’t Be Sirius, Folks!

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