Brian Kelly: Re-Inventing the Weekly Newsmagazine for the Digital Age

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Brian Kelly: Re-Inventing the Weekly Newsmagazine for the Digital Age
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
8:30pm @ Central Library
Recommended reading:
Books on Journalism &
New Media

U.S. News & World Report editor Brian Kelly discusses how traditional media is adapting to the challenges presented by new media in a talk titled Re-inventing the Weekly Newsmagazine for the Digital Age on Wednesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. 

"For much of the 20th century," notes Kelly, "the weekly newsmagazine was an essential habit for many households. It was often a step up from the daily newspaper in depth and sophistication, weaving a coherent narrative out of the chaos of global events. Their covers validated news events and newsmakers. An educated family could choose among the nuances of Time, Newsweek and U.S. News, but they had to pick one." At their peak, these three publications had a paid circulation of 10 million and a readership several times that. They sold thousands of advertising pages each year and were highly profitable.

"Those days are gone," adds Kelly. "Along with newspapers and many other magazines, the business model that supported weekly newsmagazines is broken. While there are still plenty of readers who like to get information in print, the cost of providing it in that form no longer makes sense—a fact that has been exacerbated by the current severe recession. So publications are closing at an accelerating pace. And readers are wondering not only what happened to their favorite publications, but what it all means for the future of information." 

U.S. News & World Report, founded 76 years ago, has been one of the most aggressive media companies when it comes to changing its business model yet trying to stick to its core values.  In February 2009, the magazine began publishing a new digital version called US News Weekly specifically designed for the horizontal format of a computer screen. The new publication complements a print monthly and a 24/7 website that is used by almost 9 million people a month.  

Brian Kelly was named editor of U.S. News & World Report in April 2007, nine years after joining the magazine. With more than 30 years of journalism experience, including covering Capitol Hill, politics, and the presidency both as a beat reporter and as an editor, Kelly is one of the nation’s most experienced magazine editors in steering national and international news content. 

Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or you may RSVP online. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Baltimore.

Listen to the audio