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The New Yorker takes its goings on online

The magazine, long the voice of high-brow American literary style, is going digital.

    The New Yorker magazine, long the voice of high-brow American literary style, is going digital.

    The venerable literary magazine published its 76th anniversary issue Monday, marking the occasion with the launch of a Web site, its second e-publishing venture this year. Last month, the company signed a deal with Microsoft to publish the magazine's first series of e-books in the Microsoft Reader format.

    The steps come as online media companies are being swept away in a dot-com downdraft, forcing layoffs, restructurings and shutdowns. The damage has extended into the offline world, where a slowdown in advertising revenues has hurt publishers and broadcasters nearly across the board.

    Companies pulling back include News Corp., which closed its Digital Media Division; NBC Internet, which recently cut about 150 positions, or 30 percent of its staff; The New York Times Co.; CNN; and Knight-Ridder.

    "The online version of The New Yorker was never set out to be a profit center for the magazine," said a company representative. "It was always intended to be an editorial extension of the magazine."

    The New Yorker Web site includes some content from the print version of the magazine--which features a story on President George W. Bush's proposed tax cut--as well as some exclusive online pieces, including an interview with Canadian author Alice Munro.

    It also promotes an online store, where readers can purchase books and e-books through its Barnes&Noble.com partnership as well as T-shirts and other products based on its well-known cartoons.

    The site is part of CondeNet, the online arm of The New Yorker's publisher, Conde Nast.