Newsweek Sold Yet Again

Newsweek

Less than three years after famously being purchased from The Washington Post, and seven months after going all digital, Newsweek has once again been sold:

Seven months after killing its print publication, Newsweek is being sold to IBT Media, the publisher of the International Business Times.

“We are thrilled to welcome this iconic brand and global news property into our portfolio. We believe in the Newsweek brand and look forward to growing it, fully transformed to the digital age,” Etienne Uzac, the co-founder and CEO of IBT Media, said in a statement over the weekend.

“We respect the brand’s long history of delivering high-quality, impactful journalism and believe this aligns well with IBT Media’s culture and mission,” Uzac said. “We look forward to working together to create a profitable and successful enterprise.”

The sales comes after a many months of high-level departures, some blunt statements from a disappointed owner, Barry Diller, and finally the formal announcement in May that Newsweek was eyeing a sale.

Newsweek, long a Washington Post Company property, was sold to Sidney Harman for $1 plus liabilities in 2010, upon which Harman joined forces with Tina Brown’s online publication, “The Daily Beast,” which is owned by Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. Despite generating some controversy, Brown was never able to bring the magazine back to life. After the print edition folded at the end of 2012, top staff started heading for the exits.

This doesn’t come entirely as a surprise, back in May it was reported that IAC was looking to sell the publication, an announcement that came soon after IAC  head Barry Diller had said that he regretted purchasing Newsweek at all. The terms of the sale aren’t be disclosed, but one cannot imagine that there’s a lot of money changing hands considering both that Newsweek was purchased less than a year ago for $1 and the assumption of existing liabilities and the fact that Newsweek is not exactly a growing business product at this point in time. Indeed, it will be a wonder if Newsweek is still around five years from now.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Media, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    I think you are being generous with your 5-year timeline.

  2. Boyd says:

    I kept getting confused in your last paragraph, Doug, until I realized you were actually talking about IAC, not IBT.

  3. Fixed that

  4. James Joyner says:

    On the one hand, Newsweek is a venerable brand to people of a certain age. On the other, it’s not a very useful brand, in that News and Week are diametrically opposite ideas in the era of Twitter. Even if you can figure out how to make a profitable news website–certainly, a new print magazine is out of the question—there’s no real reason you’d want the word “Week” in the title.

  5. Andre Kenji says:

    @James Joyner: I disagree. It´s true that Bloomberg Businessweek is just a small arm in the Bloomberg empire, but it seems to be fairing reasonably well. The Week also seems to be fairing reasonably well.

    The fact is that Tina Brown did a crappy job with Newsweek, transforming in a blog that was published every week. She did a particularly poor job with Howard Kurtz: one can attack the belwayirism of Kurtz, but he is a good media reporter, and she transformed him in a crappy generic political blogger.

    John Avlon shoot this video in the Daily Beast headquarters, it´s something completely irrealistic for a media company that is heavily bleeding red ink:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pTt3TUx1oU

    Tina Brown also forgot that she was editing a weekly newsmagazine in the US, not competing with the Daily Mirror or the Daily Mail. The obsession with the British Royal family was idiotic, and she even seems to have supported the Italians in the Amanda Knox affair.