Today is the day: the first issue of the new Newsweek is for sale, redesigned under editor-in-chief Tina Brown, whose website The Daily Beast paired off with the struggling weekly magazine after billionaire Sidney Harman bought it for $1. The issue has Hillary Clinton on the cover, just like Brown’s first issue of Talk, which failed sometime after its legendary launch party. But no one wants to talk too much about what’s inside new Newsweek because, as we guessed, the hype was more fun than the actual magazine. “Jokes about the waiting room at a doctor’s office aside, when was the last time anyone cared about Newsweek in a serious, watch-their-every-move way?” we wondered last week ahead of the re-launch. It turns out that our frame of reference was wrong, but not totally off: the conversation surrounding Newsweek is all about the dentist’s office, not the doctor’s. Even before Tina Brown! Observe, in what is quite literally Press Clips, our daily media column.
The Awl’s Choire Sicha had one of the morning’s first substantive reviews of the new magazine, writing that he was “impressed that it directly addresses 44-year-olds — almost any other magazine launch would be gunning for 32-year-olds.” And in closing (emphasis ours): “This is going to electrify the waiting rooms of dentists all over Scarsdale.”
He was far from the only one to employ this same dismissive quip. The following range about a year, from bloggers, commenters and other citizens of the internet — in two cases, from the same person, months apart — on the future of Newsweek and where it’s to be read: