Earlier today, Russell Adams of The Wall Street Journal wrote that The Daily Beast has pulled out of talks of a potential merger with Newsweek. The deal would have added “editor of Newsweek” to Tina Brown’s already cluttered job title list of co-founder/co-owner and editor of The Daily Beast.
Over the last several weeks discussion has focused on the roles of Brown, Daily Beast chairman Barry Diller, and new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman. Much of the debate centered on what portion of the newly formed company each of these three individuals would control — Brown, Diller, and Harman all were opposed to relinquishing any power.
With hopes of a partnership with The Daily Beast dashed, Harman is now seeking an editor for Newsweek. The magazine is on pace to lose at least $20 million this year, while The Daily Beast is reportedly set to lose about $10 million in 2010.
The breakdown in talks and struggle between Brown, Diller, and Harman makes many wonder if the effort to protect their own individual interests is really harming the potential growth of both media properties.
UPDATE: Tina Brown has confirmed the report in a post on The Daily Beast:
“The talks were indeed intriguing, but in the end we have decided not to pursue them further. The engagement was fun but the pre-nup got too complex.”