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Newsweek-Beast Merger: Marriage of the 'Wounded'?

...but Tina Brown could pull it off
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 1:30 PM CST
Newsweek -Beast Merger: Marriage of the 'Wounded'?
Author Tina Brown and her husband Harry Evans attend the premiere screening of "Faces of America With Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr." at Lincoln Center in New York on Monday, Feb. 1, 2010.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

(Newser) – With Newsweek and the Daily Beast teaming up, Tina Brown, who will edit both publications, has a lot on her plate. Media critics are divided on the move; some call success unlikely. “The merger may be a marriage of two wounded media operations," writes Douglas McIntyre at Daily Finance. Newsweek is losing staff, while Brown’s Daily Beast is losing readers (Compete has it dropped from 2.18 million unique visitors in June to 1.55 million in September). It could be “a case of 1+1=0."

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But remember, “Brown is well regarded as someone capable of re-energizing troubled titles. She is considered to be that good,” notes Colby Hall at Mediaite. Though the two companies lost an estimated $30 million in 2009, the union could make good business sense, he writes, considering the Beast "seems to churn out an issue’s worth of content for a print version each day" (which Hall notes may spell doom for Newsweek writers). And “advertisers in print still pay dollars to the comparative online penny.” Brown herself tells NPR that she’s “looking back at print” with “new eyes.” She continues, “Having done so much Web news now, I can actually see what a magazine can offer. In a magazine you can be more reflective.”
(Read more Daily Beast stories.)

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