Barry Diller, the billionaire chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, said he regrets his decision to acquire Newsweek magazine, which he merged with the Daily Beast website in 2010.
“I wish I hadn’t bought Newsweek,” he said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It was a mistake.”
Diller agreed to combine his news website, the Daily Beast, with the storied newsweekly after an agreement with the late Sidney Harman in November 2010. He said he’s discovered it’s difficult to publish a weekly magazine at a time when news has become instantaneous.
“It’s a fool’s errand,” he said.
Newsweek announced last October it would become an online- only publication after 80 years as a print magazine. Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of Newsweek/Daily Beast Co., said at the time the “incredibly archaic” costs of print and the opportunity to expand through digital distribution motivated the change.
Newsweek/Daily Beast was set to lose as much as $22 million last year, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News in July. IAC doesn’t officially disclose financial figures for the unit. The publisher cut editorial jobs in December in an effort to cut costs.
“We have a very solid newsroom,” Diller told Bloomberg TV today. Even so, he said, “I don’t have great expectations.”
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