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Tina Brown to Leave the Daily Beast

Tina Brown, the star editor-in-chief who launched the Daily Beast five years ago, is parting ways with investor IAC and launching a new media company.

New company Tina Brown Live Media will produce live events, panel discussions, summits and debates in what she referred to as “theatrical journalism.” The events will include the Woman in the World Conference that she has produced since 2010, with sponsorship from the Daily Beast.

News of Brown’s departure first broke on Buzzfeed and was confirmed on the Daily Beast site this afternoon.

“Creating the Daily Beast at the original instigation of Barry Diller in 2008 has given me some of the most exciting and fulfilling years of my professional life,” Brown said in a statement published on the site on Wednesday. “I am enormously proud of what our brilliant editorial team has achieved at the Beast.”

While Brown had a talent for luring top writers to the Daily Beast, with the allure of giving them an entry point into digital journalism, her tenure was marred by IAC’s acquisition of Newsweek in 2010. In a joint venture arrangement, Brown edited both the new and old media entities, but after substantial losses, and an admission by Diller that the purchase was a “mistake,” the magazine was put on the block and sold to IBT Media in July.

Brown has touted traffic gains at Daily Beast, but Buzzfeed, citing sources, said that the venture has cut losses yet is still unprofitable. In its most recent financial results, for the second quarter ended June 30, IAC reported decreased losses for its News_Beast division. Although Buzzfeed reported that IAC is exploring its options with the site, the Daily Beast said that it will be overseen by managing director Deidre Depke and executive editor John Avlon. In a newsroom meeting, according to the Daily Beast story, Avlon told staffers that Brown “invigorated the Beast,” which “is going to live on whether she is here in the flesh or not.”

“I leave the Daily Beast knowing it has never been better,” Brown said in the Daily Beast story on her departure. “There is in place a brilliant team of gifted editors and writers who will continue to win prizes, break important news and blaze a Beastly trail.”

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