Surprise! IAC’s canny CEO Barry Diller is putting Newsweek up for sale. That marks the third time in as many years that the 80-year-old publication has been on the block. Diller regrets, he told Bloomberg TV, making the deal to invest in Newsweek with the late audio magnate Sidney Harman, who had bought the flailing weekly newsmagazine from the Washington Post for $1 plus liabilities. “It was a mistake,” Diller said.
First the IAC CEO merged the print publication with his friend Tina Brown’s digital The Daily Beast in 2010, then took Newsweek online as Newsweek Global, for which, he told Bloomberg, he did “not have great expectations.”
A redesign of Newsweek.com launched last month.
In a memo, News_Beast editor Brown and CEO Baba Shetty described Newsweek as a “breakthrough digital product” that was a drain on The Daily Beast:
“Newsweek is a powerful brand, but its demands have taken attention and focus away from The Daily Beast. The story that hasn’t been told about The Daily Beast is its strength.”