The family of Sydney Harman will not invest in the money-losing magazine
The family of the late Sidney Harman has stopped ponying up cash for Newsweek Daily Beast, leaving Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp in control, a spokeswoman for IAC told TheWrap on Tuesday.
Though the Harmans have stopped investing further, Harman’s widow, former California Rep. Jane Harman will remain on the company's board, the spokeswoman said.
Billionaire Harman, who died in April 2011, acquired the money-losing magazine from the Washington Post in 2010 for a dollar and the assumption of its debts. Months later, he announced that the news weekly would merge with the Beast, a culture and politics site run by former Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown.
As part of that deal, the Harmans and IAC each retained a 50 percent stake. The IAC spokeswoman said that Diller's company gained control through capital investments in the publication, although she declined to specifiy what percentage it now owns.
Under Brown, Newsweek has captured attention for provocative covers that re-imagined what Princess Diana would have been like if she lived and labeling Barack Obama as America's "first gay president."
Yet she has also had to push back at reports that the publication was losing as much as $30 million annually, calling them inaccurate while admitting that it was still in the red.
Harman, a former billionaire who made a fortune manufacturing audio equipment for cars, died in 2011. His estate has been overseen by his wife Jane Harman, a former Democratic congresswoman.