Washington Post Co. is exploring a sale of Newsweek magazine, the money-losing publication it has owned since 1961, as readers defect to Internet competitors.
The weekly news magazine posted losses from 2007 to 2009 and will continue to be unprofitable this year, the Washington- based company said in a statement today. The publisher hired Allen & Co. as an adviser, Bloomberg reports.
Though no buyer is imminent, company officials said, The Post Co. hopes to execute a "rapid sale," Chairman Donald E. Graham told Newsweek employees during a Wednesday morning meeting at the magazine's office in New York.
The Post's magazine group, of which Newsweek is the biggest piece, lost $29.3 million last year after losing $16.1 million the previous year. Graham said he expects it to lose money this year.
Many newsweeklies have racked up similar losses as readers and advertisers abandon the magazines for the Internet's frequently updated news offerings.
But even with the shift to the Web, online advertising revenue still represents pennies on the dollar compared with print advertising. Newsweek brought in only $8 million in online ad revenue last year, Graham said, according to reports The Washington Post.