Newsweek For Sale
Variety is reporting that Newsweek, which is presently part of The Daily Beast media world, is up for sale:
Newsweek appears to be on the block — again.
According to sources who have been briefed, IAC is sending out inquiries to prospective buyers who may be interested in purchasing the 80-year-old title, which ended weekly publication of its domestic edition late last year in favor of an digital-only format. A revamped Newsweek.com launched earlier this month.
A spokeswoman for IAC had no comment.
As with the first sale of Newsweek, the price is expected to be negligible; what will matter more is the assumption of liabilities, although Newsweek is a much pared-down operation.
IAC obtained its stake in Newsweek after it merged the Daily Beast with the venerable publication in 2010, under an agreement with investor Sidney Harman, who had recently bought the magazine from the Washington Post.
But all signs are that the publication — which the Washington Post Co. sold for $1 and assumption of liabilities — has been a stepchild to the Daily Beast.
It was just last month that Barry Diller, the head of IAC, said that he regretted the Newsweek purchase, so it’s not entirely surprising that the company would seek to put the company on the block. Indeed, James Joyner noted the problems with the idea of a Newsweek-Daily Beast merger back when it was announced, and they mostly seem to have come true. The biggest development for the company since then has been the fact that Newsweek is now an all-digital publication, at least in the United States. In fact, since that occurred it’s become more and more difficult to differentiate between Newsweek content and Daily Beast content even though IAC has tried to keep the brands separate. Quite honestly, it’s hard to see who might actually be interested in taking on the debt that IAC assumed when it acquired the magazine at this point. As its decision to go all-digital showed, the newsweekly is pretty much a dead format now. Time still maintains the ghost of a weekly print edition, but I cannot see that lasting for much longer, Time too will soon bow to the inevitable. Where Newsweek fits into the new media world is really hard to see.
H/T: Ed Driscoll