A couple hours after Newsweek announced to the world that its parent company, The Washington Post, had put it up for sale, details and analyses are flying all over the place.
On the news front, John Koblin of the New York Observer talked with Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, who is considering rounding up financiers to help him buy the magazine he works for. Meacham tells the Observer that two billionaires have left him voicemails and that the magazine is worth saving:
I’m not saying that we’re the only catcher in the rye standing between an informed public and the end of democracy. That’s self-involved. But I defy you to make a compelling argument that the country is going to be better off with fewer places like this.
Meacham also says that he was surprised to find out that Washington Post CEO Donald Graham was putting the magazine up for sale.
This brings us over to POLITICO, which has copies of speeches Graham and Washington Post senior vice president Ann McDaniel
Our aim will be-if we can do it-a rapid sale to a qualified buyer. We’re a public company and we have to consider the price offered. But we’ll have a second and third criteria: the future of Newsweek and the future of those who work here.
I came up for 2 reasons: one is to share the news with you and the other is to thank you and to tell you how much I admire your work.
McDaniel revealed that the company does not have a buyer lined up:
Because we don’t have a secret buyer waiting in the wings, because no deal is imminent, some things are unknown. I do hope that you get to stay together as the great team that you are. In case that doesn’t happen though, let me make one thing perfectly clear:
Well, that’ll create some uncertainty. Vanity Fair talked with one Newsweek staffer, who said, “Mood’s not bad here, surprisingly!” but that many Newsweekers expect layoffs and that the rats are leaving the ship, so to speak.
On the analysis side, The New York Times says the sale marks the twilight of the, ahem, newsweekly. Jon Friedman of MarketWatch, meanwhile, says Newsweek should merge with fellow Washington Post property Slate to form an online-only superpublication. Finally, Mediaite makes a compelling case that now is a good time to sell the magazine.
We’ll let you know if anyone else chimes in.
UPDATE: The Times‘ David Carr says there is no room for Newsweek in today’s crazy world.