Stephen Colbert generated lots of buzz for Newsweek. Sales, not so much.
The June 15 issue about the Iraq War, which the Colbert Report host guest-edited, sold about 75,000 copies on newsstands, according to Newsweek's preliminary estimate. That's above the title's year-to-date average of 66,600, but not by much. It was only the fifth highest-selling issue of the year (tied with the March 16 issue). So that answers that question.
Overall, Newsweek's sales are down slightly since a May redesign meant to position it as a more Economist-like package of opinion and thought-leadership with a smaller, more elite audience. The six issues published post-relaunch have sold an average of 66,533 copies on the newsstand, versus 67,416 for the ones published earlier in 2009.
But that second figure is skewed by the abnormally huge sales of the Jan. 26 inauguration issue, which sold 148,840. Take that out of the equation and things look a little better: A Newsweek spokesman notes that the post-relaunch average is 15 percent up from the 10 weeks prior.
Despite Colbert, ho-hum sales for new Newsweek