Newsweek, not so long ago an iconic American news magazine and most recently, an online-only partner of The Daily Beast, is being sold to IBT Media, a digital-only media firm, the companies announced this weekend.
IBT is acquiring Newsweek from IAC/InterActive Corp, which, ran the magazine in partnership with the estate of businessman and philanthropist Sidney Harman, who bought it from the Washington Post Company in 2010. Harman died in April 2011.
Despite IAC's successful effort to reverse Newsweek's declining ad sales and circulation numbers, the changing economics of the media business impelled the company to kill Newsweek's print edition in December 2012, and relaunch it as an online-only magazine in January 2013.
According to a statement from IBT Media, the deal does not include The Daily Beast. The price IBT is paying for Newsweek was not disclosed, but one can only assume it was higher than the $1 paid by Harman in 2010.
A memo from Rhona Murphy, the Interim CEO of Newsweek Daily Beast Company, said the transaction was expected to close in the coming days, after which IAC would continue to run the magazine for a transition period of up to 60 days.
"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," IBT Media Chief Executive Etienne Uzac said in a statement.
Newsweek will be the 11th brand in IBT Media's stable of online news properties, including International Science Times, Latin Times and Medical Daily, and its flagship International Business Times.
The complete memo sent to Newsweek/Daily Beast employees this weekend from Interim CEO Rhona Murphy reads:
Earlier today, a deal was signed for the sale of Newsweek and I am delighted to inform you that the new owner will be IBT Media, the publishers of the International Business Times.
IBT is a growing digital global news publication that delivers international business news to an audience of over 7 million in the U.S. and 13 million people worldwide every month through its network of digital publishing platforms. It is produced in 10 country editions in 7 different languages, offering in-depth coverage that is relevant and specific to each market.
Effective as of the closing, which we expect to occur in approximately a week, there will be a transition period of up to 60 days, during which we will continue to run the business. IBT will be talking to staff during this time about potential job opportunities at the new venture and as we learn more about this process we will of course inform you and the Guild. Please reach out to Lauren Strada if you have any questions meanwhile.
We believe IBT will serve as an excellent new home in which Newsweek has the opportunity to thrive.
As Capital New York notes, only a handful of employees remained who were focused full-time or primarily on the Newsweek property, and it is as yet unclear how many of them will move in the sale.