Tina Brown and The Daily Beast Part Ways
Tina Brown announced today she is parting ways with The Daily Beast.
Sources close to the decision described it as mutual between Brown and The Daily Beast's parent company, IAC, which is owned by Barry Diller.
The one-time Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor told The Daily Beast's staff about her impending departure at a newsroom meeting today.
Brown plans to start Tina Brown Live Media, where she will have complete editorial and business control. Brown will take the successful Women in the World conference (and its staff) with her to the new company, which she plans on expanding. Tina Brown Live Media is also planning other ventures to be announced at a later date. The new company expects to be an advertiser-supported business.
Brown's contract expires in January. The exact timing of her departure was not disclosed.
In a statement announcing the change, Brown said: "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. It has been wonderful to grow the Women in the World Summit into such a powerful, independent brand, and now it will be even more exciting to see how it can expand and develop."
The future of The Daily Beast is unclear. IAC is said to be exploring either shuttering the operation, continuing it with a new editor or finding a buyer.
Executive editor John Avlon told the staff, "The Beast roars on," adding "Tina's spirit … is going to live on whether she is here in the flesh or not."
Other sources reported that the Daily Beast's CEO Rhona Murphy told the staff at the newsroom meeting where Brown announced her departure that budgeting was planned through 2014 for the website.
An IAC spokesperson declined to comment on news of Brown's departure. The Daily Beast reported that Diller was traveling and unavailable for comment.