Barry Diller and Tina Brown have closed a deal to merge their two-year-old online The Daily Beast with 77-year-old print weekly Newsweek, which has a sizable online footprint as well. UPDATE: According to Brown on NPR, The Daily Beast will take over Newsweek online, and she will also run the print weekly. She will be its first woman editor.
In theory, Newsweek, which has been losing a stream of top talent to rival Time and others, will gain a web-savvy partner, while editor Brown, who once edited Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, will get her hands on deeper news-gathering resources. Clearly there will be marketing opportunities and synergy. But The Daily Beast has grown organically into a competitive web news operation; Newsweek is burdened with old overhead, and hidebound traditions. Both are losing money. It will be fascinating to see how the twain shall meet. Slate's Jack Shafer is bullish about Brown making this merger work. The WSJ calls it "NewsBeast."
Here's Brown's announcement of how she plans to run things:
Some weddings take longer to plan than others. The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties Tuesday evening, in a conference room atop Beast headquarters, the IAC building on Manhattan's West 18th Street. The final details were only hammered out last night. What does this exciting new media marriage mean? It means that The Daily Beast's animal high spirits will now be teamed with a legendary, weekly print magazine in a joint venture, named The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, owned equally by Barry Diller's IAC and Sidney Harman, owner (and savior) of Newsweek.