Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Will Barry Diller Take Newsweek Web-Only? Mmmmaybe!

During IAC’s earnings call today, an analyst asked Barry Diller if he has considered an online-only version of Newsweek. Short answer: Maybe.

And now, because there’s a mini-debate about exactly what Diller said, here’s my transcript of his comments:

… The brand is good. What is the problem? The problem is, manufacturing and producing a weekly newsmagazine, and that has to be solved. And everybody is going to face the same problem — other than, I think, luxury brands — over a period of time. Because advertising in this category is entirely elective. And the transition will happen, I believe. I’m not saying it will happen totally. But the transition to online from hard print will take place. We’re examining all of our options. Our plan is that, by September, October and certainly, uh, firmly have a plan in place for next year. It’s going be different than it is this year. I can’t tell you in what ways it’s going to be different. But it will be different.

For what it’s worth, I ran my interpretation of Diller’s soliloquy — that he’s thinking about going Web-only with Newsweek, but hasn’t committed to it — by IAC rep Justine Sacco. She’s going with that version, too.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work