The Other Shoe Drops for US News


Earlier this year, US News said it would change its publication schedule from every week, and that it would change its emphasis from news to consumer reports — since its many ranking issues (Colleges, Hospitals, etc.) have been very popular.

So I think it should have, at that point, dropped the phrase “& World Report” from its title.

Actually, I think it should have dropped the word “News” from its title, too, since it clearly wasn’t covering news.

I think the reason the magazine didn’t is because there’s already a magazine called US, and readers would probably get confused. (Not that I think that US is every about me, but that’s another posting.)

Now, the other shoe has dropped in that US News & World Report has announced it will stop publishing its print edition to focus on being a web-only publication.

If we soon can’t call the Christian Science Monitor a newspaper anymore since it won’t be delivered on paper, can we can call US News (or whatever a more accurate name would be) a magazine anymore?

Not sure.

But I think the new slogan for the Christian Science Monitor could be — Read the CS Monitor on Your Computer Monitor!

Meanwhile, if US News & World Report maintains its name, since there is brand equity in it, the publication won’t be the only one with a misleading name. Industry Week isn’t really about industry, but about plant management, and it doesn’t publish weekly. Redbook isn’t actually bound in red, nor is it a book.

One thing’s for sure: because of the lousy economy, we can expect other print publications to move to an online-only strategy. Most of these will be second-tier publications. I am still convinced that there is a need for print publications — if only because Kindle and other similar electronic reading devices are not as widely available as MP3 players. Yet. I also think top publications will still be able to sell print editions to advertisers and readers. It just might be a small group of top publications.

We can survive this, yes we can.

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