Newsweek CEO Dev Pragad Commemorates Newsweek's 90th Anniversary In Memo To All Newsweek Staff

To: All Newsweek Staff
From: Newsweek President and CEO Dev Pragad
Date: Friday, February 17, 2023
Subject: Newsweek's 90th Anniversary

Newsweek 90th Ann Black

Dear Colleagues,

Today, Newsweek celebrates a significant milestone: our 90th birthday. Since the magazine's first issue went to press in February 1933, readers have given us their time and their trust, and we have always worked to live up to that legacy.

To people across America, and later around the globe, Newsweek brought reports of war and economic upheaval, of scientific progress and startling social changes. When I look through images of our vintage covers I see FDR, Einstein—and women in the military. Reporters and editors then, as now, were driven by curiosity, eager to examine the world that was changing around them. They were also risk-takers. In 1963, the magazine dispatched 40 researchers to conduct 1,250 interviews for a special report on the Black experience in America. The next year, Newsweek was ahead of the pack in putting The Beatles on its cover—even if the essay itself missed the mark. ("Sartorially they are a nightmare ... musically they are a near disaster," said the story.)

Phil Graham, who bought Newsweek in 1961, described journalism as a "first rough draft of history." Our archives confirm that. Newsweek's must-read coverage of a fast-evolving world continued through the space program and the women's movement; Vietnam and 9/11; the Watergate tapes and Monica Lewinsky.

The world we cover today is no less complicated—and the business environment for publishers is far more challenging. Newsweek went out of print in 2012 and the company teetered near collapse for several years. And while I never want to get complacent—this is a volatile industry—I'm confident that those days are behind us. Our successful digital transformation is now detailed in two Harvard Business School case studies. More than 50 million Americans read Newsweek every month and we're back in print with a weekly issue, unlike many of our former competitors.

At the core of this transformation is our Mission Statement: Newsweek speaks to—and listens to—readers across the political and cultural spectrum. We are committed to journalism that is factual and fair. We believe good-faith debate is in the public interest, and we welcome diverse views and voices to the search for common ground.

We are mindful of this purpose every day in our news coverage and our Debate editorials and podcasts. Our new homepage and article page designs, which will roll out this year, bring the mission to life. The content hubs that we're about to launch—Better, which focuses on diversity, and Mightier, which will support debate at under-resourced high schools and amplify those students' voices—demonstrate how our mission is woven through all we do. Our Climate hub will spotlight individuals who are making a positive difference and new technologies that could bolster the planet's health. We'll take the same approach to other topics including the military, the world of gaming, and health & wellness. As Newsweek Video Director Jessica Durham puts it, "Just like a transport hub where the route to every destination runs through the center, our content hubs will use video, social media, podcasts, articles, newsletters and live events to take our audience on a journey to the center, to common ground."

None of Newsweek's achievements or goals would be possible without all of you: your talent, integrity, resilience and hard work. I thank each of you. Together, we'll celebrate Newsweek's past and future throughout this milestone year.

With all good wishes,


Dev Pragad
President and CEO, Newsweek