Tina Brown stepping down

Tina Brown
Tina Brown

Tina Brown, one of the most famous magazine editors, has announced she will be leaving The Daily Beast, the website she founded five years ago. Her contract will not be renewed by her employer, Barry Diller, chairman of IAC (InterActiveCorp), when it expires in January, reports BuzzFeed.

It looks like she is paying the price for persuading Diller to acquire the magazine Newsweek, which ceased appearing in print last year after losing a fortune. Newsweek was bought by IBT Media in August.

The New York Times says: “Ms. Brown and Mr. Diller expressed great enthusiasm when they started The Daily Beast in 2008. But their relationship was put to the test in 2010 when Ms. Brown persuaded Mr. Diller to help support the storied but struggling Newsweek magazine and merge it with The Daily Beast. Even Ms. Brown’s best efforts to save Newsweek were soured by the struggling market for newsmagazines, and Newsweek lost tens of millions of dollars.

“Mr. Diller complained publicly for months about his frustrations with Newsweek, and referred to the acquisition of it as a ‘mistake’.”

Brown said she would be starting a new company, Tina Brown Live Media. But Gawker says: “Make no mistake: this is a major failure for Tina Brown,” says Gawker.”

A Daily Beast report says: “In 2011 and 2012 The Daily Beast won the Webby Award for best news site, and it has seen steady growth of traffic, up 22 percent year to date to nearly 16 million unique visitors in August, as well as advertising growth of 23 per cent year over year.”

But The Daily Beast launched in 2008 has been left in the shade by The Huffington Post, founded in 2005.

Tina Brown, 59, is just as famous and glamorous as Arianna Huffington, 63, of The Huffington Post.

Brown and her husband, Harold Evans, 85, are two of the most famous editors of English-language newspapers and publications. Evans made his name as the editor of The Sunday Times though he also briefly edited The Times and subsequently the US News & World. Brown was the glamorous editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

Now The New Yorker is edited by David Remnick and Vanity Fair by Graydon Carter.

I think Harold Evans was a great editor. The New Yorker has done well under Remnick and Vanity Fair under Carter. About Tina Brown, I just don’t know since I can’t recall what the magazines were like under her.

The Daily Beast will be overseen by managing director Deidre Depke and executive editor John Avlon.

The Daily Beast attracted nearly 5.6 million unique visitors in August, down from nearly 6.6 million a year earlier, according to ComScore. The numbers last year likely benefited from the run-up to the US election, it added.