A reader peruses a special French-language edition of Newsweek. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- After 80 years in print, Newsweek is going all digital starting early next year.
The last print edition in the United States will be the Dec. 31 issue, says Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company.
The Washington Post company sold Newsweek two years ago, when it was merged with Tina Brown's then-two-year-old Daily Beast online news operation.
In an announcement, Brown says that the journalism business has been "increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment" and notes that 39% of Americans in a recent Pew Research Study say they get their news from an online source.
Brown underscores that by moving Newsweek to an all digital format, "we are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it."
"This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism -- that is as powerful as ever," Brown writes. "It is about the challenging economies of print publishing and distribution."
The magazine, whose name was originally spelled News-Week, was started in 1933 by a former foreign news editor for Time magazine.
It has long been second to Time in circulation among news magazines, but began making its mark in the 1960s, under the Post ownership and editor Ben Bradlee, with its coverage of civil rights and by reflecting the glamor and youthful attitude of the Kennedy administration.
In 2010, after losing money for two years, Newsweek was sold to businessman Sidney Harman for $1 in exchange for taking up its financial obligations.