In 2006, Time magazine realized its readers were too busy during the week to flip through each issue. When they finally could devote enough time to read the articles, the news was already old. So Richard Stengel, the magazine’s former editor-in-chief, made a drastic move. The publication would hit newsstands on Friday instead of Monday morning.
“I think that really saved the magazine,” said Tracy Schmidt, director of social media at Crain Communications and an independent social media consultant, who worked at Time during the change. “It was then redesigned for a weekend experience. So it was a recap of the week behind and a look at the week coming up.”
The way people interact with media and social media today affects publishing schedules. In the early days of the internet, most people accessed information at work, so publishers adjusted accordingly, posting most of their online content between nine and five. Now, though, there’s a need to be active all the time. Legacy publishers like The New York Times post breaking news pieces online before they hit print. And now many digital-first publications have weekend editors who are hired to stay ahead of everything that happens on Saturday and Sunday.