UPDATE: We just saw that The Daily Beast recommended Silicon Alley Insider. Um, thanks. They do have good taste in the news they sort through and curate. But we’re still waiting for our shout-out.
EARLIER: Tina Brown has resurfaced with her Barry Diller backed Internet newspaper, The Daily Beast, after being late to its reported Oct. 1 launch.
In a Q&A on the site, she notes that she doesn’t regret leaving The New Yorker, that after burning through millions at Talk, she won’t bankrupt Barry Diller, saying “Even I don’t know how to spend money that fast.” (We don’t really know what that means. She’s got a lot of money to work with? Diller burns through money faster than she does?)
She also praises Arianna Huffington: “I have always followed Arianna’s career with the liveliest interest. She is a very old friend, going back to when she was at Cambridge and I was at Oxford. I love what she has achieved at HuffPo. And her partner Ken Lerer, another old friend, has also been a total mensch about the birthing of our beast.”
As for the site itself, we think it’s not as glitzy as what we’ve come to expect from Tina, albeit comprehensive in terms of information. However, Tina and her staff of 12 (!) could’ve been up all night prepping it to look that way.
But what we were most struck by was the lack of Hollywood coverage. Sure there was a brief note about DreamWorks and Paramount’s split under the “Divorce” headline, which is now off the front page. (Before it disappeared, though, we wondered, What if some big Hollywood couple breaks up today? Would they replace DW/Paramount as the “Divorce” story?) But Brown was supposedly working on some big Hollywood power list and getting nowhere with agencies and management companies. We thought the concept sounded pretty interesting and would like to have seen it, but it’s nowhere to be found.
Here’s what the rest of the media’s saying about Tina’s comeback:
Fishbowl NY: Does this mean magazines are officially dead? Tina Brown, magazine editrix extraordinaire, has finally launched the long chattered about The Daily Beast (named after the paper in the Evelyn Waugh novel Scoop). What is the Beast? Well, for one, it’s not another news aggregator, it “sifts, sorts, and curates.”
It’s a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it.
…Brown has picked an interesting time to enter the fray. We are 30 days away from an election and readers are deluged with established places offering them both coverage and a platform. However if anyone is going to be able to make waves in this climate, Brown is probably as safe a bet as one could make.
NYMag’s Daily Intel blog: It looks good! It’s a “soft launch,” so it was done without much fanfare, but the site is up and running, already boasting content by Chris Buckley, Tucker Carlson (thank God), and, of course, Brown herself. The site, whose slogan is “Read This Skip That” (and whose logo is strikingly reminiscent of the Philly Daily News logo), features a “Buzz Board” on its front page, where prominent names like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Christiane Amanpour, Sheryl Crow, and Rachel Maddow can recommend articles. It has a central column of staff-selected stories from elsewhere, called the “Cheat Sheet,” and in its off-lead position, a rotating story box features original material — including a “Big Fat Story” feature which innovatively gathers a news and information cluster about one topic.
Gawker also focuses on the Philly Daily News design similarities.
Jossip offers more of a snarky review: So far, the site works more as a news aggregator than an original content source, but some big names have already signed for the Huffpost-esque site. That explains why Diller, who financed the site, was so keen on snuggling up with Arianna and spending millions for their joint comedy site 23/6. Avoiding bad blood isn’t cheap, esp. if you want a such a gracious soundbite from Queen Huffington:
“The more sites offer smart, compelling content, the more people will get their news there. And that’s good for all of us,” she says.
That’s very sweet of Arianna, to let Tina Brown have her moment in the sun with guest-blogger Tucker Carlson. If the Grecian mogul isn’t secretly snickering behind her hand right now while accepting Diller’s backing dollars with the other, then the woman has more self-control than celebrity friends.
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