One of the supposed advantages of the combined NewsBeast was that The Daily Beast would get the benefit of Newsweek’s much bigger audience.
Now, it looks like that advantage is quickly diminishing. Newsweek.com has ended an agreement with MSNBC that provided a significant amount of its traffic—in some months, as much as half.
“We’re not continuing it,” Charlie Tillinghast, president and publisher of the MSNBC Digital Network, told Adweek. “They just decided not to do it. There wasn’t a lot of discussion about it. I got the impression they were busy trying to organize themselves.”
Beast execs initially said Newsweek.com would end as a standalone site after the merger, which was finalized this week. That news caused a mini-revolt by Newsweek.com supporters, who took to Tumblr to protest it. The brouhaha forced NewsBeast editor Tina Brown to clarify on Twitter that Newsweek would have a banner and URLs on the Beast. A rep for Beast said the sites would be integrated "in the coming months."
As it happens, Newsweek.com’s traffic has steadily dropped over the past few months. Monthly uniques stood at 3 million in December, down from 5 million in June, per Compete.com. The Beast had just 1.9 million uniques in December, per Compete (although the Beast itself claims the figure is actually 5 million).
Sources estimated Newsweek was paying MSNBC roughly $3 million yearly for the traffic.
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