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Barry Diller: ‘One Way or the Other, We’ll Buy or Create Some Print Product’

IAC chief on death of Newsweek-Beast deal

If you’re the headliner at your own event (and your name isn’t Insane Clown Posse) you run the risk of coming off vain. But if your name is Barry Diller, and you speak relatively openly about recent failed business deals, it can be quickly forgiven.

Diller, IAC chief and owner of the Daily Beast, was interviewed by the New Yorker’s Ken Auletta at the Daily Beast’s own Innovator Summit in New Orleans on Friday. The interview touched on a wide array of topics, including, of course, Diller and Tina Brown’s failed attempt to forge a partnership with Sidney Harman and Newsweek.

"We got 50-50 economically, but 50-50 in terms of governance and all of that was not obtainable," Diller said, "Who, as George Bush said, is 'The Decider' [is] a real murky area to navigate."

Diller added this, which was interesting: "One way or the other, we'll either buy or create some form of print product. As much as digital of course is going to take more and more share, advertisers like to have a print representation of what they're trying to say, if it's tied well and into this very fast moving Internet publication.

"With the Beast, we've got hundreds of thousands of people who are in the exact right spot that anybody would want to reach because they're all, I mean they're a pain in the ass, they're all the influencers, they're all the people who everybody gotta have if they're going to establish a brand."

Diller also addressed his decision in the mid-1990s not to buy Paramount: "I clutched.”

Here’s a video clip from the interview: