Yesterday, it was announced that Newsweek, the venerable news magazine brand that was brought into the IAC fold for The Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, was being sold to IBT Media. IBT is the company behind The International Business Times, an organization that covers financial as well as general news. Details of the agreement were not made public, but there's a 60-day transition period and IBT Media will resurrect

The domain was redirected to The Daily Beast and last December saw the last print issue of the magazine (an iPad version was launched this year). Brown said that it "cost $42 million just to print Newsweek... Before you’ve even engaged one writer, or one copy editor, or one picture editor. Forty-two million dollars." Earlier this year, Diller told Bloomberg TV that he wished he never bought Newsweek, calling it a "mistake."

IBT Media will focus on digital operations, and an internal Newsweek/Daily Beast memo said, "IBT will be talking to staff during this time about potential job opportunities at the new venture." Capital New York suggests it's unclear how many people are dedicated solely to Newsweek, perhaps five or six.

The Daily Beast's Dan Gross goes through the sad recent history of Newsweek:

The sale marks the next step in the evolution of the weekly magazine. In May 2010, the Washington Post Company announced it was putting the title up for sale. Newsweek was ultimately sold to Sidney Harman, the philanthropist and founder of the Harman Kardon electronics company, for the symbolic price of $1 in the summer of 2010. In November of that year, Newsweek announced it would merge with The Daily Beast, bringing the magazine under the joint ownership of Harman and IAC. Harman died in the spring of 2011, and his family members decided in the summer of 2012 to cap their investment in the venture, making IAC the controlling owner.

Under new ownership, Newsweek reversed ad-page sales from a 40-percent decline to a 6-percent increase between 2010 and 2012, and saw a 20-percent increase in renewal rates. But with the economics of publishing continuing to shift, and the advertising-supported model of weekly news magazines facing challenges, Newsweek announced it would transition to an all-digital magazine last fall. The last print edition appeared in December 2012. At the end of April, IAC announced it was putting Newsweek up for sale.

Buzzfeed looked at IBT Media's background


Not unlike the magazine itself, Newsweek’s new owners come with some baggage. Reports have suggested that IBT has ties to controversial Southeast Asian preacher David Jang, who reportedly leads a group that encourages the belief that he is the second coming of Christ. An article in Christianity Today from September 2012, in which Davis is quoted in, suggests that IBT is owned Jang.

Both Uzac and Davis denied to Buzzfeed that Jang has any ownership or financial stake in IBT, however, and said that the Christianity Today implication was inaccurate. They said that they owner IBT outright and that the company had no other financial backers.

They conceded that they had a working relationship with Olivet University, which was founded by Jang. The relationship involves such things are placing students in internships, using the school’s servers, and getting design assistance.

“That’s as far as it goes,” said Davis, who likened the arrangement to how Stanford funnels students to Silicon Valley companies like Google.

As it happens, IBT Media moved into the Hanover Square offices that Newsweek moved into before merging with Daily Beast.