Howard Kurtz: Our Edits of Your Latest Story on Newsweek

Howard—saw your latest piece on Newsweek; our edits below. Best, N:

While journalists get into the business for various reasons -- vicarious thrills, investigative zeal, outsize ego -- ultimately they're at the mercy of the marketplace. [ED-as opposed to who? Bricklayers? Florists? Bond traders? This lede is a pretty obvious cliché, Howard; pls rework] And that marketplace seems ["Seems" is pretty squishy. Has the marketplace sent a message or not?] to have sent a very discouraging message to Newsweek.


With Post Co. executives refusing to discuss the process, the other possible bidders remain shrouded in secrecy. They may or may not wind up pursuing a purchase, but for now, the discussion centers only on those who have confirmed their interest, perhaps for the publicity value. [Wait. We're four grafs in, and already underwhelmed: You go from claiming in the first paragraph that "the market seems to have sent a very discouraging message" re Newsweek to here acknowledging that there may be many other, nondisclosed buyers, and that the ones who have publicized their bids may be doing it primarily for the publicity value. Why is this a story again?]


Based on what has been made public, Michael Parker, managing director of AdMedia Partners, which specializes in media mergers, says: "I'm a little surprised that, shall we say, major players haven't come into this arena, at the very least to take a closer look. Newsweek has huge brand equity in the marketplace, a wonderful reputation editorially." But, he says, potential buyers must be asking: "Who's going to do it better if The Washington Post Company can't figure this out?" [This is a great quote, but nonsensicalwhy does it follow that, by virtue of simply having owned Newsweek for a long time, the Washington Post company is the corporate entity best able to make Newsweek profitable? Also, is it logical to assume that your employer, the Washington Post Company, whose flagship newspaper division reported a first quarter loss this year of $13 million, is somehow the smartest business side on the planet?] The company has owned the magazine since 1961.

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