Is Tina Brown the next editor of Newsweek?
Brown did not immediately return an email for comment, and a representative for the Beast responded with this:
Tina is enrolling her daughter at Harvard this weekend and is not available to comment.
(UPDATE: When pressed for when she would be available, Brown's responded: "It's not something Tina will be commenting on as there is no truth to the story.")
Brown’s name has been mentioned in the shortlist of candidates to take over for Jon Meacham after the sale of Newsweek to Sidney Harman is finalized. For Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk, it would be a return to print, a place (with the exception of Talk) she has excelled – she’s in the Magazine Editor’s Hall of Fame, after all. And Brown already reportedly runs the Barry Diller-owned Beast like a print magazine anyway.
Plus, Brown would have some built-in newsweekly advice at home — her husband, Harold Evans, is editor-at-large of The Week.
Though perhaps that would be a deterrent, because unlike The Week, money-hemorrhaging Newsweek is headed in the wrong direction. And traffic is on the rise at the Beast. According to Quantcast, the site gets about 2.6 million unique visitors a month in the U.S., which is roughly a million more than it was getting this time last year.
But, then again, Brown is always looking to be included in the proverbial national “conversation,” and as a platform, Newsweek — despite its serious financial shortcomings — certainly is that, moreso than a website that shares a building with the dudes from College Humor.
Whatever the case, it’s been another weird week for Newsweek. On Thursday, it was reported that Mark Miller, the magazine’s longtime editorial director, plans to leave, following a New Orleans-brass-band-sized march of colleagues (Meacham, Evan Thomas, Fareed Zakaria et al) out the door.
One last note: If Tina is after the Newsweek job, she hasn't discussed it with her boss, Diller, who's vacationing in Tahiti. According to one person who communicated with him Friday, he professed to have not had a single chat with Brown about Newsweek.