Newsweek’s anti-Obama cover is a surprise newsstand hit

Heavily criticised Newsweek's anti-Obama cover.Newsweek looks to have a newsstand hit on its hands for its much criticised anti-Barack Obama cover story.

The issue, with the cover line “Hit the Road, Barack”, was for a story by Harvard historian Niall Ferguson. The New York Times called the piece “unethical commentary”, others said editor in chief Tina Brown was simply trying to shock,”Slate called it “absurd”, while Andrew Sullivan writing on sister title The Daily Beast said it was “propaganda, not journalism“.

However, it turns out the cover may have also been a newsstand hit.

The cover looks more like something you would find on the front of a British magazine rather than an American one of Newsweek’s standing. Is that Brown’s influence?

The Aug. 27 issue urging a Romney victory “may have just knocked one out of the park on newsstand sales,” according to the Magazine Information Network, or MagNet, which tracks magazine sales.

The early read on sales suggests the issue could double Newsweek’s newsstand average, MagNet said. It’s also on track to land among the title’s top three newsstand sellers since 2010, according to MagNet data.

A spokesman for Newsweek and The Daily Beast wasn’t immediately able to confirm MagNet’s newsstand numbers but said the issue sold well. “All reports indicate the August 27th issue was a strong performer both in print at the newsstand and on tablet,” a spokesman told Ad Age.