Former Entertainment Weekly chief gets top job as struggling print giant and digital news site consummate their merger
Ray Chelstowski has been named the new publisher of Newsweek and the Daily Beast, a representative for the Daily Beast has confirmed to TheWrap.
The former Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly executive's job apparently will be to push forward the merger of the Newsweek and the Beast.
"The merger of these powerhouse brands presents terrific growth potential," Chelstowski said in a statement. "Together, Newsweek and the Daily Beast will bring a unique and dynamic proposition to the marketplace that I believe will ultimately become the model that others will follow. I couldn't be more excited about joining this comany and being part of something that truly takes integration to new heights."
Audio-equipment magnet Sidney Harman's bought Newsweek last year and agreed, with IAC's Barry Diller, to merge it with the Tina Brown website several months later. Since that time, both organzations have been trying to figure out how to make merger work.
According to the stated plan, Newsweek the magazine will continue on as a stand-alone print brand, while the Beast will become the organization's online news destination, replacing Newsweek.com.
Chelstowski abruptly resigned from Time Inc.-owned Entertainment Weekly in November, following a successful two-year run during which he was credited with reversing the publication's ebbing subscriber and revenue flow.
Newsweek lost a significant number of subscribers, advertisers and top-level staff last year.
However, Chelstowski told the New York Times that having the Beast and Brown in the magazine could reverse that downward trend.
“Half the challenge in sales is creating an interest so people want to sit down with you and have a conversation,” he told the paper. “(Brown's) involvement brings a certain kind of advertising appeal right out of the gates. People want to know what it will look like going forward.”