USA Weekend: First it shrunk, now it vanishes

Gannett Company, which owns USA Today is closing down its Sunday supplement USA Weekend magazine, and pink-slipping about 30 employees as the magazine bites the dust. USA Today president and publisher Larry Kramer sent this memo* to staffers Friday.

Gannett’s flagship newspaper implemented major layoffs in September, cutting an estimated 70 employees following news that the paper’s owner would spin-off and separate its publishing business from its broadcasting and digital entity. In May 2011, the company underwent an even more ‘radical’ overhaul cutting about 9 percent, or 130 employees, in an attempt to focus on its digital strategy.

The efforts are intended to offset sharply plummeting advertising, depleting the newspaper’s main income stream. Escalating the problem, fewer readers are willing to pay for newspapers as free news is easily and instantly available via the Internet.

Under Kramer, who became USA Today’s publisher in 2012, the paper has been aggressively focused on the less costly digital front.

Gannett is the parent company of the struggling, radically leftist, Arizona Republic, which is continually pleading with its remaining readers to “Go deeper with digital. Great reads. Rich databases. Interactive features.”  Besides routinely insulting the intelligence of its readers, it has drastically increased its price, driving more to seek their news elsewhere. 

The last issue of the continually shrinking tabloid-sized USA Weekend magazine insert will be Dec. 28 —– when it will vanish entirely.

*H/T Jim Romenesko’s media blog.


5 Responses to USA Weekend: First it shrunk, now it vanishes

  1. LD 23 PC says:

    When we realized the sole reason for continuing to subscribe to the Arizona Republic was the crossword puzzle, which my wife and I enjoyed doing together over coffee, we canceled our subscription and began buying crossword books. Problem solved!

  2. MacBeth says:

    Paying the salaries of liberals like Linda Valdez, EJ Montini, Laurie Roberts and the other illegal alien supporting nuts at the newspaper is not where our values lie. We stopped buying this leftwing crap several years ago.

  3. Observer says:

    I find it more than amusing that the Republic’s “firewall” to keep out non-paying readers ultimately came down. From that action it can be assumed that there weren’t enough willing to pay for its incessant garbage spew and the paper reacted accordingly. How much leftist bias does one have to be slammed with before going elsewhere?

  4. Vince says:

    USA Today’s Larry Kramer appears to have a sick sense of humor. He titles his memo to the staff regarding the demise of the magazine insert and their accompanying job losses as “Announcing changes at USA WEEKEND.”
    Those are some changes!!

  5. Jim McAllister says:

    Newspapers need to look at each other, nod, and agree that it’s over for them. Not only are there fewer pages but the pages are smaller. I recently gave a talk to the DAR in Scottsdale and one of my props was a copy of the AZ Republic in 1978 compared to now. From edge to edge the 1978 copy was 7 5/8″ wider.

    Take a look sometime at the 1948 photo of Truman holding the Chicago Tribune with the headlines “Dewey Defeats Truman.” That paper is the size of a bedspread.

    Seattle, Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and many other large cities have thrown in the towel on formerly popular dailies. Is Phoenix next?