Barry Diller’s Daily Beast news website will combine with Newsweek magazine in a joint venture to be owned equally by IAC/InterActiveCorp and Sidney Harman.
Tina Brown, among the founders of Daily Beast in October 2008 and the former top editor of Vanity Fair and New Yorker magazines, will be editor-in-chief of the new venture, according to a statement today. Daily Beast President, Stephen Colvin, will serve as chief executive officer of the combined entity, Newsweek Daily Beast Co.
“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 prepared statement. “The two entities together offer writers, photographers and marketers a powerful dual platform.”
Harman, 92, bought Newsweek from Washington Post Co. in September for $1 after the publisher said it could no longer sustain the magazine’s losses. Newsweek’s print advertising revenue dropped 30 percent in this year’s first nine months to $114.3 million, compared with a 2.6 percent gain industrywide, according to data from Publishers Information Bureau.
Diller, CEO of New York-based IAC, and Harman, the founder of audio-equipment maker Harman International Industries Inc., will be directors of the new entity. Harman will be executive chairman, according to the statement. Harman and Diller will each appoint one additional board member.
Talks between Harman and IAC to merge the two companies broke down last month, according to Diller, who at the time said that he would continue to seek a partner for Daily Beast.
“I am really excited we were able to finally put this together,” Diller said in a prepared statement today.
IAC fell 13 cents to $27.95 at 11:56 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. It has gained about 37 percent this year.