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When word spread that the legendary Tina Brown was going to take over as editor of Newsweek, merging it with her news and aggregation site The Daily Beast, it did wonders for morale at the moribund magazine. “Initially, a lot of us were really excited,” says one recently departed editor. “The attitude was, Tina Brown was coming in to save Newsweek.” But now, three months into her reign, current and former staffers describe a newsroom in a constant state of turmoil, uncertainty, and confusion.
On the eve of Newsweek’s relaunch in March, Brown sought to distance herself from past extravagances, most notably the famously star-studded Talk launch of 1999.