Sidney Harman’s Family Committed to Newsweek, Daily Beast

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

"We will carry on, though we will greatly miss his passionate enthusiasm and belief in the venture,” says Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of IAC.

NEW YORK – After the death of Sidney Harman, his family will retain his 50% stake in a joint venture that consists of Newsweek and IAC’s The Daily Beast, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Harman had pledged to absorb tens of millions of dollars in losses while Newsweek was looking to improve its finances, most recently by combining with the Daily Beast, the paper highlighted. Some observers had wondered what was going to happen after he died on Tuesday at age 92 after a recent diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia.

"The Harman family will retain its 50% interest and are totally committed to active participation and enthusiastic support," the Journal quoted Harman's attorney Robert Barnett as saying.

IAC chairman and CEO Barry Diller said Harman told him of his illness three weeks ago, and the Harman family wanted the partnership to continue "in all events." Said Diller: "We will carry on, though we will greatly miss his passionate enthusiasm and belief in the venture."

Details on which family members may play a role weren’t immediately clear.

The Journal said that Harman had told the paper in an interview last summer that he didn't have a succession plan at the time, but his wife, former Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, would not play any role in the news operation "before or after his death." He had added though: "It'd be silly for me not to realize if I get hit by a bus tomorrow or by a jealous husband, I better have a mechanism in place that continues this."

Barnett declined to comment on any stipulations in the Newsweek-Daily Beast merger agreement in the case of Harman's death. "It's not proper to do that on this sad day," he said.

Newsweek’s re-launch under new editor Tina Brown happened last month.


Twitter: @georgszalai