One year after the embattled Newsweek returned to print as a small run weekly, Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco has apparently done something that eluded previous high-flying editors Tina Brown and Jon Meacham: He's posting a small profit.
"We are in the black," said Impoco. The magazine had lost over $40 million over the two-year period leading up to when the Washington Post sold it for $1 to Sidney Harman in 2010.
Harman quickly discovered how expensive it could be and put together a hasty merger with Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp.
Brown, who already had The Daily Beast up and running for Diller, was tapped to add the Newsweek editor job to her rÃ©sumÃ©.
Problems ensued. Diller and Brown, after investing much in their Daily Beast Web venture, shut down what was arguably the better-known Web destination and made Newsweek.com default to the Daily Beast.
Harman died only months into the merger and his widow, former Congresswoman Jane Harman, had no appetite for investing boatloads of cash in the money-losing magazine.
Diller, forced to go it alone in 2012, decided to convert it into a digital-only product. He soon grew tired of the steady flow of red ink and sold in 2013 to the small and unknown IBT Media.
"They clearly thought they were selling us off for scrap pieces," said Impoco, who was hired as editor by the new owners and was down to "less than 30 editorial staffers" at Newsweek as most of the remaining veterans were laid off.
A year ago, in March 2014, Newsweek returned to a print product - with a small circulation and high cover price.
Today, he says, there are "about 60 editorial staffers, and we plan to increase to close to 100 in the next year."
Last month, he signed a two-year production deal with Aspire Entertainment.
Aspire CEO Mark Ciardi is also the producer of the latest Kevin Costner flick, "McFarland, USA."
Ciardi is also big on sports stories after his involvement in "Miracle," "Million Dollar Arm" and "The Rookie."
He told Variety that he is hoping the Newsweek connection brings Aspire beyond just sports.
The circulation is still small. Impoco put it at just "over 100,000."
The profit, too, is small, Impoco concedes. He would not disclose the amount, but indicated it was "six figures."
"We're investing it back into the product, but we're making money."