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Newsweek and Daily Beast Form Joint Venture–But Will It Work? Or Is It Unmanageable ‘Beastweek’?

Nov 12, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Newsweek Magazine is launching a joint venture with Barry Diller’s news website Daily Beast, with the combined entity to be called Newsweek Daily Beast Co., Bloomberg reports. The venture will be co-owned by Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp and Newsweek owner Sidney Harman.

Former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown, who helped found Daily Beast two years ago, will be editor-in-chief, the companies said in a statement issued today. Stephen Colvin, president of Daily Beast, will be CEO.

“The metabolism of the Daily Beast will help power the resurgence of Newsweek, and Newsweek amplifies the range of talent and audience the Daily Beast can reach,” Brown said in a statement. “The two entities together offer writers, photographers and marketers a powerful dual platform.”

Newsweek was sold in September for $1 to Harman after Washington Post Co., which owned the magazine, decided it could not continue to sustain losses. Harman and Diller will be directors of the new entity, while Harman will be executive director. Two new directors will also be appointed.

The announcement triggered a flurry of commentary in the media, including speculation about whether the merger will succeed. Writing for Business Insider, commentator Henry Blodget says one motivation for what he calls “Beastweek” may have been Brown’s interest in returning to print media.

While alluding to the advantages of combined print-online operations, however, Blodget points out the two companies’ combined losses and raises questions about the prognosis for the venture.

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