Sidney Harman, a 91-year-old industrialist, bought Newsweek for $1.00 from the Washington Post Company. The consensus is he overpaid. Harman said he has no plan how to stop the money hemorrhage from the all but defunct magazine.
Harman made his fortune in the industrial sound business. If he has experience in running any kind of media company, it was not noted in any of the articles I read.
It is easy for someone like me to take pot-shots at Harman and his latest investment. And in fact it looks like an impossible situation to turn around. The world has changed. The weekly news magazine is dying. It is being replaced by the new media.
Before its sale, Newsweek tried to become more of an opinion magazine than a straight news publication. This idea failed for the same reasons the original Newsweek failed. The new media provides plenty of opinion based news at a much more timely rate.
Conservatives gloat as they watch the liberal relic media going down the tube. Many blame the failure on its ingrained liberalism. This analysis is incorrect. It is being replaced by 24 hour cable news and the internet where you can you instant news and opinion from as many perspectives as you want. No need to wait a week for a magazine with a predictable and tired point of view to be delivered in the mail.
It appears Harman, who retired at age 88, was bored and bought the magazine as a play thing. Good for him. I hope it brings him much pleasure as it sinks into oblivion.