Feature

Stephen Colbert's Newsweek takeover

What happens when a Comedy Central star guest-edits a news magazine?

Newsweek's decision to have Stephen Colbert guest-edit the magazine's June 8 edition "reeks of desperation," said Gawker. The newsweekly "recently underwent its second major design reconstruction in three years," and now it's enlisting a Comedy Central host as the first guest editor in its 76-year history. Newsweek editor Jon Meacham denies it, but this is just a "PR stunt."

And it will surely help Newsweek sell a lot of magazines, said Annie Barrett in Entertainment Weekly. Colbert says he'll sprinkle the June 8 issue with the "conventional wisdom" of his ultra-conservative TV character, "but insists much of the content will be treated with the utmost seriousness." What fan of The Colbert Report wouldn't cough up a few bucks to see what Newsweek will look like with Colbert in charge?

Newsweek could certainly use the buzz right now, said Nick Zaino in TV Squad. The magazine's redesign, unveiled three weeks ago, was meant to "reconceptualize the newsweekly's place in the age of instant news." The new version is "more thought-provoking, more interesting, and less fluffy around the edges than the old Newsweek," but it won't do any good unless people pick up the magazine and see for themselves.

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