IBT Media Buys Newsweek From Diller’s IAC After Online Shift

IBT Media said it’s buying Newsweek from IAC/InterActiveCorp, splitting it from the Daily Beast brand, and plans to make it profitable.

IBT, owner of the International Business Times, is acquiring Newsweek after the 80-year-old magazine shifted to online-only in January and lost its chief executive in June. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, according to a statement from IBT yesterday announcing the transaction.

“With our knowledge of building digital brands and with the power of the Newsweek brand we think we can build it and definitely be profitable,” Etienne Uzac, co-founder and chief executive officer of IBT Media, said in an interview yesterday. “There are revenue models that Newsweek has that are different from what IBT is doing, so bringing the two together there’s a lot of opportunity to grow.”

IAC, run by Barry Diller, purchased Newsweek as part of an agreement with the late Sidney Harman in November 2010 and combined it with the Daily Beast news website. The billionaire this year said he regretted the move and started looking for buyers.

“I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek,” Diller told Bloomberg Television in an interview in April. Publishing a weekly magazine at a time when news has become instantaneous is a “fool’s errand,” he said.

Uzac declined to comment on the terms of the deal. Harman had acquired Newsweek from the Washington Post for $1 plus assumption of liabilities.

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek/Daily Beast Co., will remain at The Daily Beast, Uzac said. Newsweek employees will be evaluated on whether they fit into IBT’s plans within the next 30 to 60 days. The magazine, which published its last print issue in December, will remain online-only.

“We are 100 percent digital company and so that’s been our forte,” Uzac said. “In the future there might be some opportunity for print but not right now.”

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