The Daily Beast will have a print component at some point and is getting closer to breaking even, Barry Diller, chairman of the website’s parent company, IAC, said on a conference call with analysts Wednesday morning.
“One way or another, we’ll either find something or we’ll create somehow, as Politico did, a print product to go with the Beast,” Diller said. “For advertisers, that makes sense.”
Diller was responding to a question about The Daily Beast’s recent merger talks with Newsweek, which broke down last week because Diller and Newsweek owner Sidney Harman did not see eye to eye on governance and editorial control.
“It made sense for us,” Diller said of the proposed merger, “because if you think about the progress of the Beast, in terms of audience, in terms of how it’s landed — Tina brown, who came from a long [magazine] career, the last two years she’s been working solely on the fast paced internet side. The idea that that sensibility would then come to a print product as a companion piece made industrial sense.”
Diller’s remarks followed IAC’s third quarter earnings report. The company’s revenues jumped 25% thanks to success in its search and online dating businesses, which include Ask.com and Match.com. IAC’s media segment, which includes The Daily Beast, posted a 44% revenue increase, though it was the only part of the company whose operating income declined.
The Daily Beast, whose web traffic has dropped in recent months, is expected to lose $10 million this year. But Diller said that breaking even was in sight for the two-year-old online news publication.
“We’re very pleased with the progress of the Beast,” he said. “We don’t need to do anything, we’re on track in terms of reducing the loss. Breaking even is not on some distant shore. Not that I can exactly see Russia from Alaska, but it’s a bit more in view.”
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