Newsweek to cease print edition, go digital-only with iPad & other platforms

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The rising cost of print has forced Newsweek to go digital-only starting in 2013, leaving its iPad app as one of the few ways to read the nearly 80-year-old publication.

The new page for Newsweek was announced by the publication and its parent company, The Daily Beast, in a post to its official website on Thursday. Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty cited the "challenging economics of print publishing and distribution."

"We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it," they wrote. "We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism — that is as powerful as ever."

Shetty and Brown said Newsweek has seen a rapidly growing reader base on tablets such as Apple's market dominating iPad. They believe digital storefronts — such as Apple's Newsstand for iOS, as well as the Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores — are "superb" platforms for the publication.

As of Thursday, "Newsweek for iPad" was the No. 45 most popular free application on the iPad App Store, and it ranked No. 37 among the top grossing applications. Users have rated it an average of 2.5 stars out of 5, criticizing it for technical issues such as crashes and missing stories.

Apple's Newsstand debuted last year with the launch of iOS 5. Some companies, such as magazine publisher Future, have seen strong initial success on the iPad. One study released earlier this year estimated that total iPad users spend an average of $70,000 per day on Newsstand content.