Barry Diller promised Daily Beast staffers that “we will come to a conclusion (on the future of a Tina Brown-less site) by the first week in October,” according to an internal memo Thursday obtained by TheWrap.
“I can’t make promises for the future, but I’m hopeful we can continue to publish the Beast with as much energy, verve and moment as Tina has given us,” the chairman of the Beast’s parent company, IAC, said in the memo.
The clearly annoyed media mogul said the announcement of Brown’s resignation as editor-in-chief, following BuzzFeed‘s report that her contract was not being renewed, “wasn’t at all what had been intended. Tina Brown had told me more than a month ago that she didn’t wish to continue as the editor in chief of The Daily Beast. We had agreed to announce this sometime during the month of September and were on course to do so.”
Diller said the Daily Beast brand is “strong” and “growing,” despite “the difficult Newsweek period.”
“It’s definitely been a ride,” he wrote. By October, that ride may be over.
Daily Beast’s managing director Deidre Depke and executive editor John Avlon will take over for Brown in the interim, and Avlon seemed sure the Daily Beast would continue for some time, telling staff on Wednesday “The Beast roars on.”
Diller and Brown launched the Daily Beast in 2008. Newsweek joined the brand in 2010, but the weekly stopped its print publication at the end of 2012 and the title was sold to IBT Media in August. Daily Beast and especially Newsweek were reportedly huge money-losers for IAC. Diller said in April that the Newsweek purchase was “a mistake.”
Brown’s post-Beast plans are to create her own “theatrical journalism” media company, Tina Brown Live Media.