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TV for fun but not profit

Newspaper managements remain endlessly fascinated with what they view as the promotional Smashtv possibilities of television. Practically every sizable paper in America has a "news partnership" with a TV station that, when announced to the newsroom, is billed as the first step to world domination. (The Miami Herald, hitched up with WFOR-CBS 4, is no exception.)

Far be it from me, entombed about four levels below the lowest link of journalism's food chain, to contradict the best and brightest minds of the business. But Slate's maddog media critic Jack Shafer is a different matter. He's just written a columnnoting that no print news organization in the known universe had more or bigger TV whores than Newsweek. Jonathan Alter, Howard Fineman, Fareed Zakaria, the list of Newsweek perpetual talking heads goes on and on. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the kid who sells dope in the Newsweek mailroom is a regular on Weed.

Result: Newsweek is so bountifully successful that the Washington Post Co. just dumped it for $1 (no typo: $1) to a 91-year-old philanthropist who probably thought he was buying a subscription to help a high-school glee club. Another victory for marketing science!


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