In a bold move and in anticipation of an industry caught in the throws of a revolutionary upheaval,
US News and World Report fired its editorial staff writing for the printed edition several months ago.

It promptly rehired them to write exclusively for the online edition.
What is so remarkable is that the printed edition is now an offshoot of the online edition. Faster to market, news on the fly … the consumer has a wide choice …. a printed version of the news is no longer the choice.

This week, following in the footsteps of US News, in a move heralding the importance of the online edition,
BusinessWeek moved its top editor, John Byrne, from its print publication to lead . The company’s site registered a 22 percent increase in monthly users during the past year with 6.7 million unique users per month. By contrast, the printed edition registered a 10 percent drop in ad pages during the same period with a 900,000 circulation rate base in North America.

The difficulty the magazine business faces stems from a business model that cannot easily translate from a printed page to an online page. The face of the buyer has changed and the sellers need to cope with that change in an effort to understand how their new model fulfills the needs of the new online market mentality.

The change is permanent and growing. In the scramble to monetize the online versions and the millions of inventory impressions (many of which go unsold), publishers cannot afford to stray from their compass … that of editorial integrity and relevance.

What looms on the horizon? Independent networks that will categorize the news genre and offer a “network” of competitive online news sites with relevant content and sold, in part, through an online auction based model.

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