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Frank Romano on Bi-Textuality

Published on February 13, 2013

This week, Frank uses the last print edition of Newsweek magazine as a jumping off point to talk about the print and digital mix and argues for "bi-textuality" - or that we need both print and electronic media.




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By Gordon Pritchard on Feb 13, 2013

Interestingly I don't think there was any mention in the last print issue as to why this was the last print issue.


By Hal Hinderliter on Feb 13, 2013

Gordo, I think that's the saddest part -- if they feel no need to justify the decision, that says a lot about the current state of "conventional wisdom." Gonna be hard to "turn the ship around" on this one, and I think we'll need more than the folks who frequent doctors' offices to make it happen...


By Frank Cost on Feb 13, 2013

Here's a related puzzle to ponder:



By David Avery on Feb 13, 2013

I read (Past tense) Newsweek - each issue delivered to my mailbox. Easy to open, scan, read what you wanted. Then it sat on the coffee table, was browsed by many.
Now, it shows up on my nook - and stays there unopened. I find it hard to navigate, boring visually, and simply not worth the bother. I think I actually tried to read 2 editions since the changeover. But this is the future!!!!!


By Kurt M. Sanger on Feb 13, 2013

Printed magazines will go the way of vinyl.

Our kids kids will not know what a magazine was.

We'll be waiting at the Dr's office with nothing to read as our phones should be shut off and there is no wireless allowed. Less germs will be shared.

I miss reading the morning paper as we do so online. I don't miss taking the paper out to the curb. Its really difficult to clip coupons, though I never ever liked to do that in the first place.

The money will dictate what we have in the future. We won't like pop-up advertisements and pages moving around as we try and read around the ads while static ads won't work as they are easy to ignore.

Ads will use up our bandwidth and increase the cost of owning a tablet.

We'll miss print. Some of us already do.


By Neal Shrier on Feb 14, 2013

Great new term, Frank! I stopped subscribing to Newsweek long before they announced that they would be ceasing their print edition because I did not like their content. They failed because their content was weak and failed to attract consumers. What a lot of marketers don't understand is that the while the cost per unit is extremely low when compared to print, no one is reading a lot of electronic content because of the numbing deluge that people are bombarded with on a daily basis. People pay attention to print!


By Stephanie Hill on Feb 15, 2013

Actually some doctor's offices are installing Tablets in the waiting rooms, as are airports, restaurants,etc. I am print lover, own many books, read newspapers and magazines. I agree with your take that we need both media so that we maintain choice.


By Jerry Brown on Feb 19, 2013

I'm afraid you will have to use a different analogy to describe the decline of printed magazines, Kurt. Vinyl record sales have actually been growing steadily in recent years, much of it driven by "our kids". For example, see this article in a November 2012 edition of USA Today:


Vinyl record sales will never overtake CDs and digital downloads, but they show growth, something the magazine industry sadly can't boast.


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