New York Magazine has been slowly tapering back from being a true weekly, putting out just 42 issues this year. But in March the magazine will switch to an every two weeks schedule, at least in print. David Carr explores the subject in his Monday Media Equation column.
The punishing economics of being a stand-alone weekly can be explained in one word: Newsweek.
The cost structure at a weekly makes the drop in ads across the industry an existential threat and, as happened at Newsweek, its benefactor is no longer in the picture: Bruce Wasserstein bought New York in 2004 and died in 2009.
By all accounts his heirs are dedicated owners, but they know as well as anyone that Newsweek sold for $1 in 2010 and, after its new owner Sidney Harmon died, limped along in a doomed merger with The Daily Beast until it ceased print publication last year. They and the people who work for them are trying to avoid that fate.