News of the merger deal between IAC’s The Daily Beast and Sidney Harman’s Newsweek lit up the Internet last Friday. Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that, according to the new company’s CEO, Stephen Colvin, Newsweek.com as a separate web domain would cease to exist, its content to be folded into the Beast site. Newsweek.com staffers took to Tumblr with their frustrations, criticizing the higher-ups for their lack of web literacy and foresight. Tina Brown responded on Twitter on Monday that Newsweek.com would be “combining” with The Daily Beast, “not shutting down.”
But the logistics, whatever they are, haven’t shut down the critics. David Carr wondered about the logic of a merger between “two properties that have almost nothing in common other than the fact that they both lose lots of money.” Mark Coatney, a past editor at Newsweek.com, warned against the financial consequences of killing off the online version of a legacy-media print brand. Felix Salmon argued that the decisions that the Tina Brown team has made so far “demonstrates a clear failure to understand the web.”
What else is wrong with this deal? What do you expect to see from the new combined efforts of “The Daily Beast Newsweek Publishing?” Can it be journalistically and/or financially successful? What would the new “NewsBeast” creature have to look like for it to work?