Baba Shetty, the Newsweek Daily Beast Co. CEO, is leaving the company ahead of Newsweek's planned sale, Tina Brown announced today in a company-wide memo. Shetty, who was the chief of strategy and media at ad agency Hill Holliday when he joined Newsweek in late 2012 and oversaw Newsweek’s recent transition to a digital-only magazine, is planning to take the summer off “to spend some time with his family,” Brown wrote. “We wish Baba great success in his future ventures,” she added.
NewsBeast international publisher Rhona Murphy will return to New York as interim CEO. Also getting a title upgrade is vp of operations Andrew Perlmutter, who has been named general manager of business operations and development.
Last week, Newsweek owner IAC said that it was seeking a buyer for the publication, which has already gone through two other owners in the past three years. According to Brown and Shetty, the demands of the newsweekly had been taking focus away from the Daily Beast. IAC chairman Barry Diller, meanwhile, has been making his less-than-warm feelings towards Newsweek very clear, having referred to his purchase of the struggling magazine as a “mistake” earlier this year.
No buyer has been lined up as of now, but Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici wrote yesterday that Digital First Media—which owns 70-plus daily newspapers including the Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News—has shown some interest in purchasing the 80-year-old magazine.