The Washington Post has sold Newsweek to electronics billionaire Sidney Harman for in return for his pledge to assume the struggling title’s liabilities and retain most of its staff.
Newsweek has struggled through the recession more than most weekly news magazines, losing nearly million last year alone. It was earning that much a year as recently as 2007. And the longer it remained on the market, the less tenable its financial situation became. It has been an expensive product for the Post Company to produce, with its various international editions and separate back-office positions that were specific to the magazine. Instead of sharing a general counsel and accounting staff with the Post Company, for example, Newsweek has its own employees in those positions. The magazine’s top editors and managers redesigned it last year in hopes of attracting more readers and advertisers. But the updated magazine, which contained more commentary and analysis on the news of the week, failed to catch on.
Harman, who is 91, is married to Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA).