After months of rumors that it was struggling, Newsweek officially announced Thursday morning that it will cease print publication of its monthly print magazine at the end of this year, focusing instead on an entirely digital format released under the new name of Newsweek Global.

An article published on the Daily Beast website this morning revealed that the print paper, which merged with in 2010 and is helmed by editor-in-chief of both, Tina Brown, will end an 80-year print tradition to launch Newsweek Global, "a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context," described Brown in her article.

Newsweek Global will reportedly be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with some content published on the Daily Beast website. Brown's article admits that "our business has been increasingly affected by the challenging print advertising environment, while Newsweek's online and e-reader content has built a rapidly growing audience through the Apple, Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores as well as on The Daily Beast," Brown writes.

The New York Times reveals that Newsweek's total paid circulation dropped by more than half from 3,158,480 in 2001 to 1,527,157 in June of this year. "In our judgment," wrote Brown, "we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead."

Brown also indicated that layoffs were expected. "Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the U.S. and internationally," she wrote.

This is not the first time Newsweek has spoken of the possibility of the transition. Newsweek owner Barry Diller referred to going all-digital earlier this summer. The final issue of Newsweek will hit newstands on December 31, 2012.

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