Newsweek Editor-in-Chief explains shift to digital and talks "painful" staff reductions


(CBS News) Thursday, Newsweek magazine announced it will end its print edition at year-end and go 100 percent digital in 2013. On Friday, the Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast,Tina Brown spoke with "CBS This Morning" about the decision and what it means for the future of media.

Brown maintained that it was the "right decision, smart embrace the future." The future, according to Brown, is the "seismic shift" reflected by the 17 million tablets currently used in the U.S. and the 10 million more soon to be released. Brown also added that the magazine's marketers and advertisers fully support the move and in fact, have been urging her to go digital for some time.

She further explained, "the fact is that The Daily Beast is enormously successful...there was always a feeling and a knowledge we would be a digital company."

According to Brown, going digital will allow the magazine to "focus on the cost of content." She does allow that despite her sense of inevitability around the shift to digital, "this is a big's an iconic title," she said, adding that ultimately, the decision was "extremely difficult" and "we spent the summer wrestling with it."

Speaking to the iconic -- an often controversial -- covers that have characterized the publication, Brown said "the tablet cover will still be very much alive."

Brown stopped short of saying just how many people would be part of what she called "painful" "staff reductions," as a result of the shift. She told Charlie Rose, "We don't yet have those numbers."