IAC Seeking Buyers for Newsweek (EXCLUSIVE)

Newsweek for Sale: IAC Seeks Buyers

Newsweek appears to be on the block — again.

According to sources who have been briefed, IAC is sending out inquiries to prospective buyers who may be interested in purchasing the 80-year-old title, which ended weekly publication of its domestic edition late last year in favor of an digital-only format. A revamped Newsweek.com launched earlier this month.

SEE ALSO: Barry Diller Calls Newsweek Purchase a “Mistake”

A spokeswoman for IAC had no comment.

As with the first sale of Newsweek, the price is expected to be negligible; what will matter more is the assumption of liabilities, although Newsweek is a much pared-down operation.

IAC obtained its stake in Newsweek after it merged the Daily Beast with the venerable publication in 2010, under an agreement with investor Sidney Harman, who had recently bought the magazine from the Washington Post.

But all signs are that the publication — which the Washington Post Co. sold for $1 and assumption of liabilities — has been a stepchild to the Daily Beast.

IAC’s Barry Diller last month signaled his unhappiness with the purchase, telling Bloomberg TV that “it was a mistake” to buy the publication and a “fool’s errand if that magazine is a news weekly.” While praising the journalists who work there, he said that he did “not have great expectations” for the digital product.

Newsweek renamed its digital tablet edition Newsweek Global, although print editions still exist overseas under royalty arrangements. IAC is pitching the opportunity to “innovate” a business model, with an emphasis on narrative journalism and plans for one-advertiser-per-article sponsorships. A “soft” launch of a redesign of its Newsweek website earlier this month includes the same content as the tablet edition, and the company has announced plans to move to “metered” Internet access with subscriptions at $2.99 per month.

In the most recent quarter ended on March 31, IAC reported an operating loss of $8.8 million in its media group, which includes News_Beast, the combined Newsweek and Daily Beast operations, from an operating loss of $6.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The company does not break out separate earnings for News_Beast. But it said that in the first quarter for News_Beast and About.com, revenue rose 8% and operating income before amortization rose 29%. It said that the full year outlook was for a percentage growth of operating income before amortization in the mid- to high 20s for About and News_Beast.

According to sources who have been briefed, Newsweek’s 1.5 million subscribers, in the quarter before it ended its print edition, fell to 470,000 in the first quarter of this year, with estimates that it will continue to decline throughout the year.

The figures showed positive operating income before amortization, but negative cash flow.

Online traffic declined from 2.9 million unique visitors in January, to 1.9 million last month, according to those who have seen the numbers.

What remains to be seen is what the sale will mean for Tina Brown, who has led the charge to revive the struggling brand since coming aboard as editor of Daily Beast for IAC in 2008.

Barry Diller/IAC Acquisitions in Photos:

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  1. oldclimber says:

    Stop and think about it. Lies are exactly what most people want to hear. Pretty lies to make them think they are “cool”, or competent, or attractive, etc, etc. There are people, (I believe Libs mostly) that pay good money to have experts lie to them with authority. How do you think scams work ?

  2. constitution1st says:

    Newsweak.
    Lies don’t find many repeat customers.

  3. It sold for $1 last time.I’ll buy it for .50 and bury it in the back yard for fertilizer for our flower bed.

  4. MarvLS1 says:

    I’ll give you 50 cents for it.

  5. Frederick says:

    ‘Ding, Dong the Witch is Dead’! The next Liberal shill should be TIME, then the New York Times, then the Washington Post, then the Boston Globe and on and on….

  6. toetagger says:

    Talk to Al the Goracle, he knows people who buy crap.

  7. toetagger says:

    Maybe Al the Goracle can direct them to an entity who would be interested. He knows people who buy crap.

  8. toetagger says:

    Maybe the Goracle can direct them to an entity who would be interested. He knows people who will buy crap.

  9. chukalukabus says:

    I subscribed to NW for many years. It is not the magazine, it is the people. Remember it was newsweek that was shoving obamacare and AWG down our throats. It is not that anything less was to be expected from them since they went hard left, it was that they persisted without question when reality hit the fan. They were shilling an agenda, not reporting anything close to what a rational person would call news. They simply lost all credibility. In short, they ceased being a news organization. And only a fool would pay for that.

  10. Sure, I’ll buy NewSpeak — I happen to have some loose change in my pocket.

  11. twoiron says:

    I’ll bid $0.50. The last guy paid twice too much for this Leftist-propaganda rag.

  12. Robert Stuart says:

    There just has to be value in this name. Just has to be. There is value in the name Obama — just has to be — we just haven’t been smart enough to find it yet.

  13. grandma says:

    It hasn’t been venerable in years. What the cheering leading section of the democratic party doesn’t seem to get is that the people who actually care enough to read or think stopped reading or tuning into their nonsense because they are insulting to the rest of us. Before I even realized the politics I was tuned off many years ago. I remember watching Dan Rather I stopped in the nineties because he gave me a feeling I wasn’t getting both sides. I also liked Rosie ODonnell until she bashed George Bush so much. At least 49% of us have been alienated. You will never get us back

  14. grandma says:

    It hasn’t been venerab

  15. Miguel says:

    Besides Newsweek being being the leftist rag it’s editors’ communist, America-hating professors’ demand of it’s gutless editors, Newsweek should be but just one defendant in a whole series of massive, class action lawsuits filed and pursued vigilantly by the growing class of victims of this rag’s leftist, progressive-pol’s’ hate-based attacks upon these victims’ psyche/prosperity/income/work/ sense of hope and dreams.

    A minimum of 50 such lawsuits at no less than $50 billion each need to be begin ASAP!

  16. fuck you too says:

    Al Jazeera will buy it

  17. Kummin says:

    The sooner Time and Newsweek disappear from the face of the earth, the better. Liberal, left trash that long ago gave up any claim to “impartiality”.

  18. FAIRTV says:

    Prospective buyers would do well to read these comments. The American people think it has been an unfair rag of liberal tripe.

  19. Kurlis says:

    I stopped reading Newsweek about twenty years ago. Even then the leftist bent was overwhelming and intolerable. I’m not sorry to see it go. Good riddance, Newsweek.

  20. jgdp says:

    OK, here’s 1 dollar;-)

  21. jgdp says:

    OK, here’s 1 dollar ;-)

  22. oldclimber says:

    A dollar huh ? Too much. I think that I have $1.29 in change that I accidentally dropped on the carpet in my car. I wonder if they would take that ? If they did I would fire the most liberal half of the writing staff (tough call). Then actually make the rest go out and establish sources on their own time and money to make up for the salary they drew concocting imaginary and/or fantasy comic book literature, while in bed, at their desks or on their couches. Get in a few kids that are hard working and hungry. I might actually start making money. Anyways, I know I could beat Beck’s current format.

  23. john scheffler says:

    KROC BROTHERS should buy the mag for pennies on the dollar , and turn it into a conservative mag that would report the whole story …and balance all the brainwashing going on in the print media

  24. Oldclimber says:

    A dollar huh ? Too much for a news fantasy comic book. I wonder if they would sell it to me, I’d give them the dollar and 29 cents that I had accidentally spilled on the carpet of my car. And after firing the most liberal half of the liberal staff (will need a little luck to pick the right half), the rest should fall right in line with a conservative, actual news organization. It might even start to make money if there were actual information available there. I know I could beat Beck’s current format.

  25. Mty Nesters says:

    Its about time. And I’m even happier to hear that Rachel Madow and MSNBC are TANKING in the ratings as was reported today on Drudge.
    Sweet….. I think the pendulum is swinging.

  26. David N says:

    I got some lunch money, maybe I could buy Newsweek? I mean, an oldline liberal left leaning newspaper should be worth something?

  27. Danny says:

    Hope to see the rest of these yellow journalism rags sh1tcanned for good. To say they are lopsided in their attempt to ‘report’ the news, is an understatement.

  28. If some intelligent, wealthy conservative was clever, they’d buy Newsweek
    and turn it into a real news investigative magazine, take one topic a week
    and dig deep, find all they can and report it all.

  29. iratenateI says:

    I’ve got a dollar I’m not using…

  30. STOPTOUCHINGTHATMABEL says:

    Even the liberals won’t read it.

  31. Al Milson says:

    LOL! Screw TV & Hollywood plus these lib magazines. I no longer give this scum a nickel. Who wants to read more OBam propaganda. The press is a joke now.

  32. Noah Fing-Whey says:

    On the block this afternoon is a means of communication from the last century……who’ll bid a $1….$1 to open people….one dollar…..it will make a great conversation piece…..do I hear 75 cents…..oh forget it!

  33. just before I looked at the draft of $7823, I didnt believe that…my… mom in-law woz like they say truly erning money part time from their computer.. there best friend haz done this 4 less than 12 months and by now paid for the morgage on their villa and purchased a top of the range Citroλn DS. read more at, Exit35.com

  34. HMichaelH says:

    A business failure, such as this one, could not have happened to a nicer and more deserving guy that Barry Diller. Sometimes you succeed, and sometimes you buy a piece of Liberal crap like Newsweek, and then it continues to fail. Good luck on getting someone dumber than you to buy it and it’s liabilities! Maybe the morons at MSNBC might be interested?

  35. jhkjhkjhk says:

    Timesweek should consider going after a different market from all the left-leaning papers and mags. They might make a profit, like Roger Ailes figured out. Nahh, then they’d be shunned at all the elitist cocktail parties. Guess they’d rather go out of business.

  36. Don says:

    The demise of Newsweek should come as no surprise, given its transition over the years from a top-quality news magazine to a collection of opinions under the leadership of John Meacham that lacked balance and a broad perspective. A sad downward trajectory.

  37. Larrybudwiser says:

    I’d give ’em a buck for it just to fire Eleanor Clift.

  38. Spike says:

    I’ll buy it for a dollar and flush it down the toilet where it belongs. It was never anything but a running dog mouthpiece for international banking power-crazed oligarchs.

  39. Skip says:

    Call a vet and put this turkey out of its misery.

  40. JD says:

    hes dead, jim.

  41. Newsweek, 20 years ago or so, used to be “required reading” for those of us that wanted to stay abreast of things (or, alerted to things) while we spent most of our time trying to “feed the bulldog.” Then, they allowed themselves to be co-opted by the Liberal Left, Radical Egalitarian, Godless Relativists, and we readers were reduced to having to read their agenda-driven distortions, or leave. We LEFT!!! Shame on the rest of today’s Mainstream Media (MSM) for, like the sycophantic Liberal Left, Radical Egalitarian, Relativistic Relativist lemmings they are, continue to follow Newsweek over the brink!

  42. “So why explore a sale now? The simple reason is focus. ”

    No, the simple reason is fuc us. I guess Tina’s oral gifts no longer work their magic on Barry.

  43. cuthean says:

    jewsweek

    No thanks.

  44. Alvinjh says:

    MSNBC has all the demographics that Newsweek went after..who cares if another lefty rag dies? Sell it for $2.00 and you made a 100% profit! lol

  45. Joseph says:

    I wonder if Newsweek will even find a buyer, or will what’s left of it be shut down.

  46. Tom says:

    I think Rev. Al Sharpton should revisit His Ms. Brawley caper from yesteryears, write a musical based on his caper, and then have it published in Newsweakly – perhaps that would revitalize the mag. Al could take the show on to Broadway – he could get Howard fineman, Richard wolfe, David Corn, Bob Shrum, Ed Schultz, and Rachel to play bit parts. It would be a barnburner of a musical.

  47. S. Dakers says:

    Newsweek’s for sale? Give me a moment to check my truck’s ashtray for some loose change…

  48. joegoofinoff says:

    HAR-HAR-HARDEE-HAR-HAR…

  49. Glubber says:

    I can’t understand WHY these rags are SO liberal! Most liberals (i.e. Democrats) are NOT that smart..and ahem..don’t read. Oh…they KNOW who Honey Boo-boo is and which Kardashian is pregnant…but overall..Democrats (Liberals) are NOT that smart…they (Democrats) are really stupid and below average in intelligence…

  50. Ra Williams says:

    The last owner got it for $1, yes, One Dollar. So I wonder what the new owner’s price will be? BTW, loved the “Obama First Gay President” cover!

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