The Aug. 15 issue featuring a glassy-eyed Michele Bachmann (“The Queen of Rage”) sold just 47,225 copies after being discussed just about everywhere, reports Lucia Moses. (Newsweek’s single copy sales averaged 46,561 per issue in the first half of 2011.) Tina Brown’s so-called “Diana’s Ghost” cover fared just above average on newsstands for a double issue: Newsweek said 70,000 copies were sold, while industry sources put sales at 47,500 to 57,000.
A third controversial cover, depicting Mitt Romney as a dancing Mormon from the Broadway hit musical “Book of Mormon,” did well: Another double issue, it sold more than 80,000 copies, according to figures that Newsweek provided to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
For its part, Newsweek points out that since Brown’s March redesign, the magazine has sold 30 percent better on newsstands compared to the three months prior.