The Washington Post Company announced this morning that it is seeking buyers for Newsweek magazine, the venerable but ailing newsweekly it has owned since 1961.
According to a company press release, the publisher has retained investment bank Allen & Company to handle a proposed sale of the New York-based magazine.
“The losses at Newsweek in 2007-2009 are a matter of record. Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek’s management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010. We are exploring all options to fix that problem,” a press release quotes Washington Post Company chairman Donald E. Graham as saying. “Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere.”
Graham told Newsweek staffers this morning that his company sees “no path to continuing profitability under our management.”
“If anyone should take the blame for this ending, it is me—for not seeing early enough and reacting in the right way to the changes that have come to our industry. But as a former member of this staff, I will always be proud to have been part of Newsweek,” he is quoted on the Washington Post‘s Web site as saying.
Graham told staffers he hopes to execute a quick sale, and last week’s purchase of the Philadelphia Inquirer by a group of creditors was cited as an example of the market’s viability even as ad revenues continue to fall.
The Washington Post Company’s magazine division lost $29.3 million in 2009. Newsweek‘s ad pages declined 20.4 percent through the first quarter of 2010, according to Publishers Information Bureau.