Big news on the publishing front: Newsweek is going all-digital, two years after its merger with The Daily Beast.

It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not. We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism—that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.

Newsweek is produced by a gifted and tireless team of professionals who have been offering brilliant work consistently throughout a tough period of ownership transition and media disruption. Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally.

Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us who love the romance of print and the unique weekly camaraderie of those hectic hours before the close on Friday night. But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future.

Sad news: This is one of the first really big magazines to drop the print edition.

Today we published our first “Daily Beast Feature.” It’s called “Death by Indifference” and, through text and videos, it tells the story of history’s fastest-spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic taking place in Russia.

The project came through a former Senior Producer Gregory Gilderman who went to Russia last year to report on the epidemic with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The black and white photos are from photographer Misha Friedman who visited clinics throughout Russia that treat people with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. We wanted to place the focus of the page on the video stills and photography, since they highlight the people at the heart of the story. Our design decisions focused around making those images as evocative as possible. The black background lets the woman’s expression draw out from the page. The videos brighten as you scroll to them, drawing attention on the images and text in that section. That was easy to do using the “relative mode” of the Skrollr.js library.

All that said, we think the best part of the design, besides the images, came from Bronson Stamp’s choice of the beige color for the active nav bar item. Something about fading from grey to beige really makes those section headers lift off the page. Use it with abundance: #f3f0df.

Below, our first pen and paper mock-up:

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Michael Keller & Sam Schlinkert
Why media outlets team up in an election year » Nieman Journalism Lab

Justin Ellis writes: “In that way the new partnership between NBC News and Newsweek/The Daily Beast to cover the 2012 election shouldn’t be too surprising. It’s a classic partnership of two organizations looking for a Doublemint effect: Double the resources, double the coverage, double the audience. The plan calls for campaign trail reporting from NBC (and a healthy dose of video) to appear in the pages of Newsweek and online at The Daily Beast.”

We’re working out of Daily Beast HQ today, and, holy God, there is NOTHING better than free snacks. Well, maybe free booze. But honestly, we’ve had so many free cappuccinos we keep switching between browser windows and forgetting what we were supposed to be Googling. Other things we’ve eaten (and/or smuggled into our purse) today:

*Hummus and carrots
*Can of V8 for future Bloody Mary

Thank you Barry Diller!

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Today’s Newsbeast: Nearly half of Mississippi and Alabama Republicans believe Obama is Muslim, according to a new PPP poll. But the poll itself is just as flawed as the results. Also, high stakes in Afghanistan and David Cameron’s U.S. visit.
Barry Diller sold Newsweek to the International Business Times? Holy crap!

In a private deal, none of the details of which are yet clear, the Newsweek brand is now the property of a digital start-up that has flown under the public radar while rapidly increasing its real readership across the internet.

International Business Times, with its 10 national editions worldwide, published in several languages, is a relative newcomer: Launching in 2005 as the brainchild of Etienne Uzaac and Jonathan Davis, an economics grad student and a computer programmer, the property experienced rapid readership growth in 2010 and 2011, and in 2012 announed the formation of an editorial team led by Jeffrey Rothfeder, a former National Editor for Bloomberg News.

Suffice it to say that is a very surprising move. Where does the brand go?

Hi, friends! We feel like we’ve been out of the loop. It’ll be light tumbling from us over the next couple of weeks while we figure out our new roles at… NEWSBEAST (not our real name). But: we promise to return, and return in full effect. NWK TUMBLR ROCK ON.

Love, Us

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Have you seen our daily news show, Newsbeast? In just over 5 minutes, you get 3 cheats, a daily obsessional, 3 last words, and plenty of fun. Check our YouTube channel for our other shows!

Today’s episode? Oscar snubs.  

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Check out “NewsBeast”–a new “daily roundtable” we’re producing from the newsroom on the day’s top stories. Today, Tina, our new Executive Editor Justine Rosenthal, and Senior Editor Rebecca Dana talk Penn State, Syria, Justin Bieber, and Occupy Wall Street.