Newsweek CEO Tom Ascheim and owner Sidney Harman sent the following memo to the magazine’s staff this afternoon. They would like to save face after news earlier today that a deal between The Daily Beast and the magazine fell apart. The memo says both that the Newsweek side withdrew from the talks with The Daily Beast — and not, as reported by The Journal, that The Daily Beast left Newsweek at the table — and that both sides mutually decided not to continue the talks.
Meanwhile, the magazine’s Tumblr has issued a call for resumés.
From: Ascheim, Tom
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2010 3:00 PM
Cc: Harman, Sidney
Subject: Latest News from Tom and Sidney
As I’m certain you’ve all heard, we have been engaged in discussions with The Daily Beast about the possibility of an alliance which included the potential for a new editor at Newsweek. We have withdrawn from those conversations. If anything changes on that front, we will be back to you.
Meanwhile, we remain committed to and actively engaged in the search for the best editor for Newsweek. We plan to have news here soon. Thanks to all of you for your patience while the rumors fly.
Please see the brief statement that we are putting out jointly with IAC. “Barry Diller and Sidney Harman explored the possibility of uniting The Daily Beast and Newsweek. In the end, they mutually decided not to pursue the possibility. Each wishes the other well.”
Tom and Sidney