The Guardian’s Edward Helmore boils down what he’s heard (via a single anonymous source) these Newsweek-Daily Beast merger talks are really all about — the rivalry between Tina Brown and Arianna Huffington:
However, within the Manhattan media orbit, Brown’s moves are largely viewed in the context of her rivalry with Huffington. Brown, who is known for her competitiveness, is now locked in a battle with Huffington for staff and traffic. And it’s personal. “They simply cannot stand each other,” said one media executive familiar with both women. “Arianna’s rise is deeply wounding to Tina, and the raison d’etre of the Daily Beast is to try to catch Arianna.” The feeling is apparently mutual: “Tina, in her heyday, didn’t give Arianna the time of day. There’s a certain amount of schadenfreude here.”
Also, did we miss something, or did Helmore make a glaring error?
Earlier this week, Brown hired the veteran Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz while Huffington hired Newsweek’s chief political reporter Howard Fineman and media columnist Keith Kelly from Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.
We called Kelly but his voicemail says he’s out of the office until Oct. 11. A spokesman for The Huffington Post, however, told us that it’s a mistake.
UPDATE – Kelly just emailed: “It’s news to me.”
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