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Sidney Harman, audio pioneer, dies at 92

Mogul bought Newsweek, formed Daily Beast j.v.

Sidney Harman, the audio pioneer who shocked the publishing world last year when he stepped up to buy ailing Newsweek magazine only later to create a joint venture with Barry Diller’s The Daily Beast, died Tuesday night from complications from acute myeloid leukemia. He was 92.

In a statement, the Harman family said ”he first learned of his illness one month ago and remained vigorously engaged as executive chairman of Newsweek, and chairman of the Academy for Polymathic Study at the University of Southern California. He died in Washington, D.C., a city he loved and supported in so many ways, surrounded by his wife and children.” Harman was married to former Southern California Congresswoman Jane Harman.

It was not clear Wednesday morning how Harman’s stake in Newsweek and the j.v. with The Daily Beast, which is edited by Tina Brown, will be handled.

After Newsweek was on the sales block for more than two months last year, Harman emerged in August as the winning bidder for the money-losing magazine, paying parent Washington Post Co. a dollar and agreeing to assume more than $50 million in liabilities. In November, Diller and Brown announced that The Daily Beast would form a joint venture with Harman’s Newsweek, another move to build media assets by Diller’s IAC.

Harman made his fortune as the owner of stereo giant harman/kardon, which he founded in 1953.

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