Hearst Media Magazine Company Planning Their Very Own E-Book Reader

Global publishing giant Hearst, the name behind newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle and magazines like Esquire and Popular Mechanics, is planning a wireless e-reader with a large screen.

(Yes, this is the same company that brought you the E Ink edition of Esquire.)

While Hearst has been silent regarding exact product specifications, we do know that the device will feature a 8.5x11ish screen to appease publishers used to large page layouts, and Hearst will allow the device's "underlying technology" to be adopted by other publishers (we're assuming that means without licensing fees).

According to Fortune, we're likely to see the device this year. And with Sony giving up their early lead in the e-reader world, it's none too soon that the Kindle will get some friendly marketplace competition—even if Hearst isn't openly chasing after the book market.

If high costs of producing paper goods are hurting the media, I'm not sure it makes sense to get into the game of something more expensive to read from today — when such a device already exists from Amazon — even if it saves them a few bucks tomorrow. Oh yeah, and magazines are better in color (on LCD or paper). [Fortune]