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Report: Proposed Daily Beast-Newsweek Merger Is Officially Dead

A month ago, New York Post columnist Keith J. Kelly reported that Tina Brown, magazine editor extraordinaire and Daily Beast founder, was in talks to become Newsweek‘s new editor-in-chief. According to Kelly, she’d be able to make the move without abandoning her beloved website; supposedly, The Daily Beast would be combined with Newsweek‘s online operations, forming one giant super-site.

Alas, the merger wasn’t meant to be. The Wall Street Journal‘s Russell Adams is now reporting that Brown and her Beast have withdrawn from negotiations with the beleaguered news magazine. Adams’s source is an anonymous “person familiar with the matter.”

According to the reporter, talks broke down because Brown, Newsweek owner Sidney Harman, and Daily Beast chairman-slash-chief executive Barry Diller couldn’t figure out how to play nice with one another:

Talks were hung up on the issue of how control would be divided among the three people, all of whom are heavily invested financially and emotionally in their respective news operations and not inclined to cede control. Mr. Harman, a stereo magnate, recently acquired Newsweek from Washington Post Co.

The person familiar with the matter said talks broke down because the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement on governance and editorial control.

Spokespeople for the Daily Beast and Newsweek weren’t immediately available for comment.

Read Adams’s report in full at WSJ.com.

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