Press Box

The Twitter Verdict on Newsweek

All the mean and funny stuff people are tweeting about the magazine’s sale.

Sidney Harman

Sidney Harman, the 91-year-old founder of Harman International Industries and husband of Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., closed a deal today to purchase Newsweek from the Washington Post Co. The terms were not disclosed, the Associated Press reported, but the wire service speculated that Harman picked it up at a “fire-sale price.” The Guardian put the price at $1 but did not show its long division.

Harman has promised to keep most of the staff, which numbers more than 300. The wire also reported that “the Post Co. said it is keeping the magazine’s pension liabilities and certain other, unspecified employee obligations.”

Newsweek’s top editor, Jon Meacham, also announced that he would be leaving the magazine after a brief transition. (Disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

The haters on Twitter immediately rendered their verdict on the sale. Here’s what they’re saying:

@dan_mccleary Sidney Harman is 90. Maybe he thinks he is buying a Newsweek subscription.@Judy_Sims Scammers used to trick 91 year olds into unnecessary home repairs. Now they sell them weekly news magazines.@gruber Has anyone confirmed whether Sidney Harman, 91-year-old purchaser of Newsweek, has heard of the Internet?@BorowitzReport Some guy just bought Newsweek for $1. Weird, because you can read it for free at the dentist.@Tedgforce Use a stack of them as a stand for my Harman/Kardon speakers. @smendler think they’ll be more balanced btwn L & R channels? @jackshafer Looking at Murdoch and Redstone, maybe Harman thinks being a media mogul conveys immortality?@kdrum Mr. Jane Harman (D-Venice) buys a news magazine.@michaelschaffer What would you rather read: an entire year of Newsweek, or Meacham’s forthcoming George H.W. Bush biography?@yelvington BREAKING NEWS: Newsweek’s digital side to go analog, require 12-inch vinyl.@joehagansays Harman Signs Deal to Buy Newsweek for $1. Does a lawyer just slide the dollar across the table?@jimgeraghty Boy, there’s a metaphor. Politico scoops Newsweek… on the news story of _the sale of Newsweek._@Dan12R Huey Lewis and the Newsweek #selloutbands@carney Newsweek sold for just $1.00. That’s 98% off the News Stand Price of a 52-week subscription! (via my friend Joe Hury)@BarryGribble A billionaire just bought Newsweek for $1. I totally would have paid $1.50.@edtior_mcj “So You Want to Be a Newsweek Editor” reality TV show. #SaveNewsweekIdeas@ZachsMind Had I known @Newsweek was on The @Wendys Dollar Menu I woulda bought it w/some fries & a Frosty. @Journalisti Newsweek goes finally stereo. #harmankardon@RennaW #SaveNewsweekIdeas Make it bacon-scented.@politicsoffear Replace Conan with Jay Leno as Editor. #SaveNewsweekIdeas@jeffjarvis Audio guy bought Newsweek? Maybe he’ll convert it to 8-Track. Cassette? Quadrophonic? Walkman? Album?@mitrebox Have ACORN fill out subscription cards. #SaveNewsweekIdeas


If you’ve seen a wicked tweet about the Newsweek sale, send the link to (No, I’m not encouraging you to add to the hate.) For a never-ending stream of puppies and kindness, see my Twitter feed. (E-mail may be quoted by name in Slate’s readers’ forums; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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