IAC Decides Not to Sell or Shut Down the Daily Beast

Exit of Founding Editor Tina Brown Had Sparked Questions About the Future

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IAC/InterActiveCorp has ruled out a sale or shutdown of the Daily Beast even after founding editor Tina Brown's departure, the online publication said.

Barry Diller
Barry Diller Credit: IAC

IAC has approved the website's operating budget for 2014 "in concept," Rhona Murphy, interim chief executive officer of the Daily Beast, said Friday in a memo to staff, according to a statement posted online. The site will be redesigned to keep traffic growing, the company said.

The future of the Daily Beast, founded in 2008 by Ms. Brown and IAC Chairman Barry Diller, was thrown into doubt earlier this month when she announced she'd leave to start a new venture focusing on conferences. IAC acquired a stake in Newsweek in 2010 and combined it with the Daily Beast online, only to sell Newsweek again last month after struggling to make it profitable and shutting down the print edition.

"If you removed the failed experiment to revive Newsweek, the story of The Daily Beast is one of excellence in reporting, in design, and in digital distribution," Mr. Diller said in the statement.

While the company hadn't made any formal moves to offer the website for sale, Ms. Brown had explored the idea with Diller before announcing her departure, people familiar with the matter have said.

The Daily Beast averages more than 15 million unique visitors a month, with traffic up 22% this year, the company said, citing figures from Adobe Systems' Omniture unit.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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