American Media Inc. (AMI) quietly announced on July 23, 2007, that The Weekly World News will no longer be published. The final issue of “The World’s Only Reliable Newspaper” is hitting news stands and subscribers’ mailboxes this week. The tabloid was 28.
“Due to the challenges in the retail and wholesale magazine marketplace that have impacted the newsstand, American Media, Inc. today announced it will close the print version of the Weekly World News, effective with the August 27 issue. Weekly World News was AMI’s smallest weekly publication,” the company said in a statement e-mailed to Reuters.
AMI, which also publishes The National Enquirer, has been struggling. According to Reuters, the company reported a $160 million net loss for 2006 and is struggling with $1 billion of debt and plummeting circulation. Sales of the Weekly World News dropped to 83,000 in 2006 from 153,000 in 2004.
Bob Greenberger, a writer for Weekly World News, wrote about the sudden closing on his blog.
Wednesday [July 18] we got word at work that management has some ideas for the paper and the next two weeks will be reprints as we begin to retool. For weeks now, weâ€™ve been hearing some changes are in the wind that were likely to amend the game plan that went into action on April 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year….
Friday morning, Jeff Rovin comes in for a meeting and then the staff was to be called in. He’s looking harried, not at all relaxed. At 11:30, weâ€™re finally shown into an office where we are told the Board of Directors has chosen to close Weekly World News. The reasons given make no sense. We’re stunned and shell-shocked. We’re to stay on through August 3, finishing the reprint issues and then we’re done. A glorious, funny, odd publication, born in 1979, will go out with a whimper and all I can think is that something’s going on that theyâ€™re not telling us because it just doesnâ€™t make sense.
Subscribers (one of which is Mugu Brainpan) received little more warning in the following days. The only advance notice they got was the cover of the Aug. 20, 2007 issue, which had a blurb on the cover that announced “Weekly World News to Close: Details Inside.” In a tiny box at the bottom of page 31 was the following:
A Notice From Weekly World News
While we had every intention of sending the winning ‘Alien Ambassador Essay’ contestant off to the stars, the aliens have insisted that the staff of Weekly World News spearhead this historic mission! As a result, until further notice, the print edition of the paper will be shutting down. Details next week.
The final issue — volume 28, number 51, Aug. 27, 2007 (which arrived at the Mugu Brainpan offices today) — announced on the cover that it was indeed the “Final Issue of Weekly World News!” However, no “details” about the closure were included.
- Excess Hollywood: WEEKLY WORLD NEWS DEAD AT 28! – ABC News
- “A Head Spinning Week” — WWN writer Bob Greenberger’s blog (blog.malibulist.com), 7/21/2007
- Weekly World News to close (aliens not blamed!) — Reuters, 7/24/2007
- Weekly World News Quiz — BBC News, 8/9/2007
- Tabloid Shocker! No More Weekly World News. Supermarket Staple Will Fold At End Of August; Publisher Gives No Reason –CBS News, 7/26/2007
- All the News That Seemed Unfit to Print — Washington Post, 8/7/2007
- RIP: Weekly World News — Heidi MacDonald, The Beat (blog), Publisher’s Weekly, 7/23/2007
- Weekly World News meets God! — L.A. Times, 8/8/2007
- Weekly World News at FindArticles.com
- Scientology vs. Weekly World News — “Read each quote, and try to determine if it’s from one of L. Ron Hubbard’sÂ©TMÂ®TMÂ©Â® ScientologyTMÂ©Â®TMÂ© texts or from the Weekly World News“