Newsweek – Daily Beast Merge
Tina Brown has confirmed the merger of the venerable Newsweek and the upstart Daily Beast.
What does this exciting new media marriage mean? It means that The Daily Beast’s animal high spirits will now be teamed with a legendary, weekly print magazine in a joint venture, named The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, owned equally by Barry Diller’s IAC and Sidney Harman, owner (and savior) of Newsweek. As for me, I shall now be in the editor-in-chief’s chair at both The Daily Beast and Newsweek, bringing with us as CEO my Daily Beast business partner Stephen Colvin, who launched The Week Magazine in the U.S., as well as Maxim, as president of Dennis Publishing. His dynamism has created 66 new ad campaigns for us since I persuaded him to join The Daily Beast a year ago.
It’s a wonderful new opportunity for all the brilliant editors and writers at The Daily Beast who have worked so hard to create the site’s success. Working at the warp-speed of a 24/7 news operation, we now add the versatility of being able to develop ideas and investigations that require a different narrative pace suited to the medium of print. And for Newsweek, The Daily Beast is a thriving frontline of breaking news and commentary that will raise the profile of the magazine’s bylines and quicken the pace of a great magazine’s revival.
I’m reminded of the AOL-TimeWarner merger of some years back, when a media Goliath was swallowed up by a lousy Internet service provider best known for giving its product away for free by widely disseminating CDs. I don’t expect this one to go much better — especially given Tina Brown’s horrendous history.
At this point, Newsweek is nothing more than a brand name. And, frankly, it’s not a very good brand name. Not because its journalistic legacy has been tarnished but because half its name is “week.” In an age of instant news and analysis, the lure of week-old information is minimal at best.