Sidney Harman & Tina Brown

Sidney Harman & Tina Brown

What happens when one of the world’s most famous magazine editors joins forces with one of the most successful American magnates? Tina Brown and Sidney Harman join Diane to discuss their collaboration into cyberspace and print: the Newsweek Daily Beast Company.

Newsweek was founded in the depths of the great depression in 1933. Businessman Sidney Harman bought the magazine last year, for just $1. He also assumed more than $40 million in liabilities. The Daily Beast arose during the recession in 2008. The news and opinion website was estimated to be about $10 million a year in the red. Now under a newly formed Newsweek Daily Beast Company, Tina Brown has taken over as editor-in-chief of both publications. Tina Brown and Sidney Harman talk about their joint venture into print and cyberspace and whether it can provide a new model for journalism to succeed in the 21st century.


Sidney Harman

executive chairman of the Newsweek Daily Beast Company.

Tina Brown

editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and Newsweek.

Program Highlights

Why did Sidney Harman buy Newsweek?

"Well, in the first place, it was available," the 92 year-old businessman told Diane.

"One of the beauties of reaching this ancient age is that you don't stumble a great deal before deciding something is worth saving. My initial instinct, with respect to Newsweek, was that it was bloody well worth saving."

Given the considerable debt Harman has taken on in purchasing the magazine, Diane asked Tina Brown about the challenges of keeping costs down.

"Actually, I've always lived within a budget," said Brown (who was formerly editor-in-chief at both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker). At Newsweek, Brown said,"the cost had spiraled out of control simply because of the old structures that had been left in was doing things in a way that no longer applied to the modern world."

Several viewers sent in questions wondering if Brown was planning on increasing Newsweek's celebrity coverage. Brown said that although this week's cover features Kate Middleton, Prince William's bride-to-be, Newsweek is primarily a news-focused magazine.

"Every seriously fulfilled life I have encountered in real time of in literature is on examination a balance between the serious and the seductive," Harman added. "The beauty of this combination is that The Daily Beast speaks the language and the tempo of its audience.Newsweek speaks the language and tempo of its. That's what makes for one hell of a combination."

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