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It's nearly over

It’s here at last: the long awaited FINAL NOTICE from Newsweek. I let the subscription lapse, oh, a year ago, and have waited patiently, dutifully recycling each weekly issue for pulping and transformation into more honestly labeled cardboard.

I first subscribed as an undergraduate, and I still recall the thrill of the successive weeks of Watergate covers in 1973. I stayed with it over the years, and I allowed for some hope when Jon Meacham took over the faltering magazine and attempted to turn it into something like an Atlantic for people with shorter attention spans—you know, like in print.

But Mr. Meacham left, and the magazine was supposed to be transmogrified by Tina Brown, she who taught The New Yorker how to swear. I was not impressed by her early efforts and was even less impressed by subsequent ones. When I received the issue with Regis Philbin on the cover, I thought fleetingly about trying to get an injunction to stop the subscription, which is about the only way you can get a failing publication that is padding its numbers to cease delivery.

But now I have the FINAL NOTICE, and soon I expect to receive a series of further FINAL NOTICES—you know how the scheme works—until finally that blessed week will arrive when the recycling bin is a few pages lighter.



Posted by John McIntyre at 12:52 PM | | Comments (8)


I let mine expire and have never missed it. That saddens me, but....

Think this will give them a hint?


The wonderful thing is that I had never heard of Regis Philbin until I read this. The past may be a foreign country, but not half so foreign as a foreign country is.

As to Tina Brown, her work doesn't greatly impress, but I have a soft spot for her because she is, of course, not just Tina Brown but Lady Evans, the wife of possibly the finest British journalist of my generation.

Do not hold your breath. I've been receiving final notices for nigh onto a year now and the recycle fodder keeps arriving.

I had a similar experience with Time, to which I subscribed for about thirty years. In their recent transmogrification, when they went mainly to long form stories, I finally decided enough! I sent them a pleasant letter telling them why, and as expected, received no response. The issues finally stopped, and the begging letters have just about run out. Now I read The Economist, but I have other issues with them.

I grew up with Time magazine and was never tempted to subscribe to Newsweek. When I dumped Time in 1981 (they put both John Irving AND cats on the cover that year), I changed to U.S.News & World Report.

I don't subscribe to either Time or Newsweek, although from time to time I take out and read my Watergate-era issues of both (about 15 in all).

I miss US News & World Report. That was a good magazine. A friend signed me up with Time because they were offering a free subscription. I read each issue, then dutifully toss the magazine into the recycle pile. I won't cry when the sub runs out.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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