BuzzFeed’s Peter Lauria, a former Daily Beast scribe, just landed himself a rather major scoop, assuming of course that his unnamed source proves correct:
Tina Brown, who sought to reinvent buzzy magazine journalism on the internet in the form of the The Daily Beast, and IAC have agreed to part ways.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, The Daily Beast parent company IAC owned by media mogul Barry Diller does not plan to renew Brown’s contract when it expires in January. The decision has been made for the two sides to part ways, said the source, but precise details of the separation are still being worked out. According to this source, Brown, who made her name among the power elite as the editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, could end up taking the successfulWomen in the World conference with her as part of a severance agreement.
As for the future of The Daily Beast website that Brown edits, no decision has been made. Included among the options IAC is considering are a sale, closure, or continuing to operate it under a new editor. According to the source, the latter option would require “looking at the business to see if it can be turned around.”
The report of the impending split comes a little more than a month after the sale of Newsweek’s remaining assets to IBT Media, which brought an end to the joint venture between the Beast and Newsweek that began in 2010. As big as the news of Brown’s possible departure might be, it would pale in comparison to the idea that the Beast, currently one of the largest online news outlets in terms of traffic, could be shut down.
Update 2:40 p.m.: Politico’s Hadas Gold follows up with her own story confirming the original scoop and fleshing out what Brown is expected to do next, namely launch her own Tina Brown Live Media company:
Brown will not renew her contract in January, the sources said. The contract negotiations have been going on for the last few months, according to a source familiar with the discussions, and the split has been a “long time coming.”
“(Tina Brown Live Media) is really a marriage of her commitment to journalism and story telling, its going to be really event orientated,” the source said, adding it will expand on Brown’s Women in the World conferences and will put together other events such as flash debates. With the new company, Brown will be able to control both the business and editorial sides, something she hasn’t been able to do before, the source said.