Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of the Daily Beast, has agreed to leave the Beast’s parent company IAC, Peter Lauria of Buzzfeed reports.
Lauria’s source tells him that Barry Diller, owner of IAC, does not plan to renew Brown’s contract when it expires in January. The report does not make it clear what will happen to the Daily Beast itself, though it suggests that Executive Editor John Avlon could well succeed her as top editor at the Beast. Some observers are predicting the publication could soon be for sale, however.
Diller’s support for Brown — a legendary former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor who worked with IAC to found the site in 2008 — had previously looked absolute, but cracks had begun to show in the last year.
Of particular embarrassment to IAC was the Newsweek debacle. Brown had been tapped to edit the legendary newsweekly in 2010. However, despite some controversial editorial choices and provocative covers, the Beast-Newsweek merger failed to revive the magazine’s fortunes. Newsweek went digital-only at the end of last year and was sold to online news company International Business Times last month for an undisclosed (and likely very small) amount.
A particularly brutal New York Times story after the Newsweek sale had eviscerated Brown’s editorial expense habits and vision for the magazine. Here’s one passage:
“The magazine sent [Newsweek writer Peter] Boyer to Japan hoping he would get an interview with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., even though he had been warned in advance that it was very unlikely (and indeed it never happened). With several days’ notice, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion writer Robin Givhan was sent to Paris to track down the Vogue editor Anna Wintour, even though Ms. Wintour had declined to speak.”
What next for Brown? Sources tell Hadas Gold of Politico that Brown will be launching Tina Brown Live Media. The company will build on the success of Brown’s Women in the World conferences and put together events such as “flash debates.”
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