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Major US title dumps print, goes online only

US News & World Report, which dropped its weekly format two years ago and went monthly, is now abandoning print entirely for the Web.

US News & World Report management announced the move to go digital only in a memo to staff, which was obtained by the Romenesko blog at Poynter Online.

The December issue of US News & World Report will be the last print edition of the magazine, long the number three news weekly in the United States behind Time and Newsweek.

Like newspapers, magazines in the United States have been grappling with a steep drop in print advertising revenue, steadily declining circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.

The Washington Post Co. sold money-losing Newsweek to audio tycoon Sidney Harman in September for one dollar.

Since dropping its weekly format, US News & World Report has concentrated on consumer guides and popular annual rankings on such topics as America’s “best colleges” and “best hospitals.”

US News & World Report management said the magazine will continue to publish “selected, single-topic print issues” like the college and hospital guides for newsstand sale and targeted distribution.

They expressed confidence in a digital strategy focused on USNews.com.

“With an average unique audience of 9 million and counting, we’ve become a significant publisher in the digital space, creating content that people want and an audience that advertisers will pay for,” they said.

“These latest moves will accelerate our ability to grow our online businesses and position ourselves to take advantage of the emerging platforms for distributing information such as the iPad and Android tablets.

“The iPad and the next generations of tablets and mobile platforms will create a brand new set of opportunities for us,” they said. – AFP