The Death of Print
Around the town
Tina Brown, soon-to-be former editor of The Daily Beast doesn’t read magazines anymore, Hindustan Times reports.
“The habit has gone,” the one time editor of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Talk and Newsweek told reporters in Goa, where she was speaking at the THiNK festival.
Newsweek was officially handed over to IBT Media on Monday, and not everyone made the cut; Tina Brown reportedly fired around 20 members of the editorial staff yesterday, including Richard Just and Louise Roug. (New York Post)
Barry Diller is considering selling The Daily Beast, Bloomberg reports.
Yesterday’s news of Tina Brown’s departure from The Daily Beast, prompted speculation about the fate of the already unsteady publication. Today, some questions might have been answered, thanks to “a person with knowledge of the matter” who told Bloomberg that the IAC chairman is considering selling the Beast after Ms. Brown’s impending exit in January.
Tina Brown will part ways with The Daily Beast when her contract expires in January, BuzzFeed reports. Ms. Brown, who launched The Daily Beast in 2008, is still working out the details of her departure from the website.
Politico reports that Ms. Brown will launch her own company called Tina Brown Live Media that will expand on her Women in the World conferences and where she will be able to control both the business and the editorial side.
“[Tina Brown Live Media] is really a marriage of her commitment to journalism and story-telling; it’s going to be really event-orientated,” a source told Politico.
Media Winter Redux
Baba Shetty is stepping down as CEO of Newsweek/The Daily Beast after just nine months in the position, editor in chief Tina Brown wrote in a memo that went out to staff this evening. Mr. Shetty will take the summer off to “spend time with his family.”
Newsweek‘s international publisher Rhona Murphy will return to New York as interim CEO.
Mr. Shetty, who came over from advertising agency Hill Holiday, succeeded Stephen Colvin as CEO back in September. But unlike Mr. Colvin (and in an unusual chain of command), Mr. Shetty reported directly to Ms. Brown.
Update: A source calls the layoffs “a bloodbath” and estimates that half the editorial staff will be gone.
Newsweek’s print edition is ending in a matter of weeks, and the anticipated staff changes have already begun. Layoffs are expected to be announced this afternoon, a tipster tells us. Meanwhile, we hear that a few Read More
In this week’s New York Magazine, Tina Brown looks back on her zeitgeisty career and the impending demise of the print edition of Newsweek. If it isn’t the definitive account (we assume that will come later), it’s the most up-to-date account.
But as we read the seven page Q&A with Slate founding editor Michael Kinsley, we were struck by Ms. Brown’s frequent use of imagery. So very illustrative! So imaginative! We can practically see it all, from Cinderella waking up from the ball that was the Talk launch party to the refrigerators on each foot that was the print edition of Newsweek.
We have collected some of our favorites below.
off the record
As we sloshed, caked with snow flurries, into the Mandarin Oriental for the 2012 Phoenix House Fashion award dinner last Wednesday evening, we couldn’t determine whether it was the way-too-early winter outside, the Sandy-forced relocation or the early start after an endless election season, but at first glance, things looked a bit quiet. (In retrospect, we appreciated the venue upgrade, considering it was originally slated to take place at Pier 60.)
“Well there’s Linda Fargo, at least …” we uttered to a weary-eyed publicist as she sashayed passed us in a crisp black sheath dress, before we sauntered downstairs to cocktail hour.
Below, on the 35th floor, the considerably more lively and notable fashion crowd imbibed, heedless of the blizzard-like winds that howled without mercy on the commoners struggling to get around Columbus Circle.
With the exception of Glenda Bailey, this didn’t feel like a typical fashion event; nay, it was considerably more corporate—a bit cliquey, but not necessarily in a bad way. Dashing executives (well mostly dashing) in flamboyant tailored suits sipped scotch and red wine, while a more demure population of women squawked about recent highs and lows.
The Death of Print
Is it happening again?
The bad time went by many names: the meltdown … the shakeout … the reckoning … the death of print… or sometimes, simply, “trying to freelance.”
Old-timers can still remember it—how, amid the frozen winter of 2008, the corridors of once unshakable media empires ran red with ink as the insertion orders dried up and crumbled into dust. Aeron chairs grew wet with tears. Editors were cashiered, contract writers flung overboard like chum. Soon you could see them all over Midtown: the sleek black Town Cars sitting idle on cinder blocks, rusting in the bleak unforgiving sun.
It was terrifying. The death knell—a merciless, unrelenting Twitter feed titled “The Media Is Dying”—sounded on a daily basis, sometimes hourly. Staffers watched in fear as the ghouls of HR, fingernails dabbed in scarlet, inched ever closer.
Newsweek will no longer be a print magazine, Tina Brown announced in an early-morning blog post. The last print edition will be December 31, 2012.
“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format,” Ms. Brown writes. “This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead.”
The new all-digital, paid-subscription publication will be called Newsweek Global and be available for tablets and online. Select content will be available on The Daily Beast’s website. The Daily Beast, which launched in 2008, merged with Newsweek two years ago.