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?
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.