The Guardian shakes up rumors this morning about the imminent deal between Sidney Harman’s Newsweek and Barry Diller’s Daily Beast. Tina Brown wants Newsweek because she is jealous of Arianna Huffington’s success at The Huffington Post apparently:
Brown, who is known for her competitiveness, is now locked in a battle with Huffington for staff and traffic. And it’s personal. “They simply cannot stand each other,” said one media executive familiar with both women. “Arianna’s rise is deeply wounding to Tina, and the raison d’etre of the Daily Beast is to try to catch Arianna.” The feeling is apparently mutual: “Tina, in her heyday, didn’t give Arianna the time of day. There’s a certain amount of schadenfreude here.”
The Guardian suggests that Ms. Brown hired Howard Kurtz for The Daily Beast to keep up with high-profile hires like Peter Goodman and Howard Fineman made by Ms. Huffington. Earlier this week, Ms. Brown acknowledged for the first time in a second anniversary post on The Beast that a deal with Newsweek was definitely in the works.
After a regulatory filing from The Washington Post Company earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that Newsweek was in fact sold for $1. The Washington Post agreed to assume responsibility for more than $10 million owed by the magazine and take care of pension funds for certain staffers, so you could say that The Post paid Mr. Harman to take the magazine.
Under Mr. Harman’s watch, the magazine will be leaving its Hudson Street offices for space at 7 Hanover Square in the Financial District, according to Memo Pad.
Over at Time, editor Rick Stengel introduced his new columnist Fareed Zakaria this morning. “For him, politics and international affairs are complex and gray, not black and white,” Mr. Stengel wrote. Mr. Zakaria’s departure marked a turning point in the post-sale exodus of staffers. With him gone, nearly all the magazine’s senior leadership had left.