Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp and Daily Beast Editor in Chief Tina Brown will not renew her contract after it expires in January and plan to part ways, people familiar with the matter confirmed on Wednesday. The news was first reported by BuzzFeed.
Ms. Brown plans to start her own company, Tina Brown Live Media, once she leaves The Daily Beast, one of the people said. The company will be an extension of an events business she started at The Daily Beast with its Women in the World event. Tina Brown Live Media will expand upon that, the person said, to feature "flash debates" and other events. Ms. Brown will run both the business side and programming at the events.
The standalone company is expected to start operating by the end of the year, according to the person, who said it remains to be determined whether Ms. Brown will bring employees over from The Daily Beast.
It is also unclear what will happen to the Daily Beast after the departure of Ms. Brown, the prominent and sometimes controversial editor who has edited the site since its start in 2008. Her exit may help in any effort to control costs, to the degree her contract is expensive. But it also suggests other changes may be not far down the road.
Nor will her exit be the first major change lately. Mr. Diller now calls the site's merger with Newsweek a "mistake," one that he untangled recently by selling Newsweek to IBT Media. And Newsweek Daily Beast Co. CEO Baba Shetty left in June after just nine months on the job.
Representatives for the Daily Beast, IAC and Ms. Brown either declined comment or did not immediately respond to messages.
The Daily Beast attracted nearly 5.6 million unique visitors in August, down from nearly 6.6 million a year earlier, according to ComScore. The numbers last year likely benefited from the run-up to the national election, said Andrew Lipsman, VP-industry analysis, ComScore.