ink-stained wretches

Tale of the Tape: The New Newsweek vs. the New New York Times Magazine

Over the weekend, two of the nation’s most prominent newsweeklies debuted new looks under new editors. How often does that happen? It’s like your mother getting a short, modern haircut on exactly the same weekend your dad decides to finally shave off his mustache. It’s jarring! But exciting at the same time — and most of all, it’s a relief. Tina Brown’s Newsweek is peppier, more colorful, and more hip. Hugo Lindgren’s New York Times Magazine is sleeker, more agile, and more fun. Since this is such a rare occasion, we decided to measure the two up against one another — feature by feature. How do they match up?

  New York Times Magazine Newsweek
Design Monocle meets Cargo meets T, with some sixties flourishes. Punctuated by black (classy) and peach (hmmm) pages. Old Newsweek meets Blender meets Time. In a refreshing twist, photo editors opted for a stately, non-nostril-close shot of Clinton for the cover.
Linchpin Stories Profiles of recently released activist Lori Berenson and 87-year-old billionaire/diet evangelist David Murdock (complete with recipes!) A giant feature about Hillary Clinton's secret work on behalf of revolutionaries in the Middle East and Africa. Just kidding! Women. Her public work on behalf of women.
Editor's Letter Hugo Lindgren details every change in format — including the font size of the cover title. Tina Brown defends newsmagazines — and links her legacy (she’s Newsweek’s first woman editor) to the late Katherine Graham, whose Washington Post Company sold Newsweek for a pittance in 2010.
We Get the Internet! Hairpin sensation Edith Zimmerman writes about things that happened on the Internet last month. There's the story behind a viral video. And the letters page is called "Reply All." The "NewsBeast" section, which feels front-of-book but actually appears about 30 pages in, incorporates the sensibility of the Daily Beast website.
Shiny New Columnist Andrew Goldman makes the "Questions" page — now called "Talk" — less aggressive than it was with Deborah Solomon. Kathleen Parker, the Pulitzer Prize winner who just got steamrolled out of her on-camera role at CNN (a fact that Tina kindly doesn't mention).
Wonkitude Sam Anderson devotes two whole pages to marginalia. There's something wonderfully cocky about that. Niall Ferguson's numbers-oriented take on the problematic boy boom in China. (Heh, "boy boom.")
Big Picture Two-page spread bird's-eye view of the USA Pond Hockey National Championships. Two-page spread close-up of Hillary Clinton wearing glamazon sunglasses in a limo alongside a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.
Gimmick Story credits for editors on the online (but not print) versions of stories — including e-mail addresses ginned up for the occasion. "XTRA INSIGHT" tabs that direct readers to other sources of information — half the time, on the Daily Beast.
The Last Page "Lives" survives intact — and in an extra nod to the Internet, it's adapted from a Reddit posting. Old Tina buddy Harvey Weinstein explains his "favorite mistake" — which, unfortunately, does not involve M&M's.
Tale of the Tape: The New Newsweek vs. the New New York Times Magazine