Mark Coatney has joined at least one Newsweek.com staffer in presenting a very cogent case for saving Newsweek.com on Tumblr.
But if you take a few step backs the decision is, if anything, even more depressing.
For one thing, it demonstrates a clear failure to understand the web. Tina Brown is a creature of print, not of the web; Ryan Tate, for one, has chronicled her difficulties making the transition from the former to the latter. In the world of print, as Coatney says, it&8217;s conceivable that you can take one magazine&8217;s readership and transfer it to anotherthink the way that Life&8217;s readers were steered to Time, or Gourmet&8217;s to Bon Appetit. But you can&8217;t do that online, for reasons which Coatney outlines well and which the new bosses at Newsweek don&8217;t seem to grok at all.
More generally, there&8217;s a clear and obvious move among online media companies towards creating coherent sites for clearly-defined audiences, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all mush. AOL has lots of sites at lots of different domains, as does Gawker Media and even the New York Times and Washington Post companies. The Newsweek Daily Beast Company is coming into existence owning two valuable and major websites with clearly distinct audiences. There&8217;s almost certainly a strong case not to try to build a third, while Newsweek is still in turnaround mode. But equally it&8217;s idiotic to try to cut those two sites down to just one.