Following weeks of rumors and speculation, The Daily Beast and Newsweek announced that they will merge. The new joint venture will be equally owned by Sidney Harman and publicly traded IAC, headed by Barry Diller.
The new entity will be called The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. The directors of the joint venture will include Harman as Executive Chairman, Diller, and one director each to be appointed from either side. Tina Brown, a founding partner and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, will be Editor-in-Chief of both Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast. The President of The Daily Beast, Stephen Colvin, will serve as CEO of the combined venture.
“In an admittedly challenging time, this merger provides the ideal combination of established journalism authority and bright, bristling website savvy. I like partnering with Barry Diller and I look forward to building our company with Tina Brown and Stephen Colvin,” said Harman, who recently bought Newsweek from The Washington Post Company.
“I am really excited we were able to (finally) put this together,” said Diller. “In The Daily Beast, Tina and her truly great team have in Internet-time created an hourly, daily newsmagazine and now will have the ability to revive the weekly venerable Newsweek with all the tools and sensibility they’ve perfected in the Beast. I’m so pleased to join with Dr. Harman in our new Company. He’s such a compelling force and I’m sure he will stimulate this undertaking every day.”
“I see Newsweek and the Beast as a marriage between Newsweek’s journalistic depth and the vibrant versatility The Daily Beast has realized on the web. 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. The two entities together offer writers, photographers and marketers a powerful dual platform,” said Brown.
Newsweek was founded in 1933. The Washington Post Company put it up for sale this year because it was hemorrhaging cash. Thus, Harman was able to buy it for $1 plus assumption of some liabilities. Newsweek has a global circulation of more than 2.4 million and claims readership by more than 19 million people.
The Daily Beast is a bit younger. It was launched by Brown and IAC 25 months ago in October 2008. It claims an online audience of nearly five million monthly unique visitors.