No Liberal Angels for Tina Brown

I’ve suggested the multi million dollar sales of the Boston Globe to the Red Sox and the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos illustrate the value of a liberal Angel to the left in avoiding a more profitable conservative buyer. They also demonstrate that for Tina Brown that skill in finding such a person may have finally reached its practical limit :

IBT –which will acquire the Newsweek brand and the operations of the online publication, not including the Daily Beast — said Newsweek would return to the URL in the coming weeks.

“We are thrilled to welcome this iconic brand and global news property into our portfolio. We believe in the Newsweek brand and look forward to growing it, fully transformed to the digital age,” Etienne Uzac, co-founder and chief executive officer of IBT Media said in a statement.

“We respect the brand’s long history of delivering high-quality, impactful journalism and believe this aligns well with IBT Media’s culture and mission. We look forward to working together to create a profitable and successful enterprise.”

Well Tina has found a buyer and their public statements sound like a liberal angel and if nothing else the NYT, while not being a financial angel for Ms. Brown (they’ll need that 79 mill to cover pension stuff you know) did have a big piece celebrating Tina Brown for taking on Newsweek in the first place and defending her from the critique of its failure:

“It’s the cost to print, declining revenue, switch to a digital environment. The fact that Tina struggled so valiantly and took so many risks, that is to her credit. It just exposes a total lack of understanding of the media environment.”

That’s David Frum making the case, ex post facto. I’m sure he knows more about print than me but I do know a little about history and the day Newsweek was purchased Robert Stacy McCain acquainted me with Ms. Brown’s:

The investors can expect to lose a crapload of cash in the process. The New Yorker reportedly lost $42 million in three years (1995-97) under Ms. Brown’s editorship. Talk lost an impressive $80 million during its two-year existence. Whatever else you might say about Tina Brown, she’s undeniably brilliant at convincing investors to lose money on her projects.

And at the start of the year when Newsweek became essentially a blog in a post titled: Tina Brown’s Mysterious Career: How Much Is That Zeitgeist in the Window? said:

With $20 million a year to throw away on a Web site, one of the things you can do with that money is hire a roomful of publicists to promote the idea that you’re an innovative genius.

Maybe, once upon a time, Tina Brown really did have something fresh and original, but her reputation as the magazine “It Girl” was always a very expensive product, one she purchased with other people’s money.

That’s why I don’t understand the celebration of Ms. Brown Tenure or the NYT piece. Unless I’m missing something all that happened is an attractive blond managed to convince some man into spending a lot of money to stake her in a business, she used said business to enhance her reputation and when she proved unable to succeed in it dumped it on the first sucker willing to take it off her hands.

It’s a story as old as time.

Well, regardless of the backstory or motivations Newsweek Magazine or should I say the Newsweek blog is no longer Tina Brown’s problem, but may I point out there is one piece of the tale missing from both the LA & the NYT times stories:

Terms of the deal, announced late Saturday, were not disclosed.


Just in case you forgot what the value of Newsweek was the last time it was sold

newsweek value

The same Whopper Jr. in that picture that sold for $1 in 2010 now goes for $1.29

Until we discover the actual sale price of the magazine we wont know if Newsweek appreciated as much in values as that burger did.

Given their loss of readers, advertisers and their print platform. I suspect not but it’s telling that they are keeping quiet on the price. I wonder is it to keep IBT or Tina Brown from Embarrassment?


Olimometer 2.52

The left has certainly had a better time finding Angels than I have finding hitters of DaTipJar this week.

Granted both the Globe & Post investors got ownership of their products while I can only promise tip jar hitters that I will continue doing what I already am.

I don’t need or expect a rich conservative to kick in $250 million or even $70 million but I would be most grateful if I can find enough readers fill a $305 paycheck this week.

If you are willing to be one of them hit DaTipJar Below