Newsweek.com, Daily Beast Combine Forces
A helpful tip to companies that are about to merge, divest, lay off, or otherwise shake things up: Make sure you know what is happening before you make the news public. Otherwise, all sorts of needless, regrettable confusion may occur.
Take, for example, the merger of Newsweek with The Daily Beast. Shortly after the merger was announced, again, The New York Times ran a piece quoting the incoming CEO Stephen Colvin to the effect that "Newsweek.com will cease to exist after the merger, and anyone who types the URL into their browser will be redirect to TheDailyBeast.com."
At first glance this may seem like a very clear, definitive statement of future plans -- because it is. But don't be fooled: CEOs aren't always fully briefed on the orders they are going to execute. This sweeping pronouncement of doom stirred understandable controversy, prompting Tina Brown to tweet that "Newsweek.com's superb content will live under its own banner and URLs on the new site. Not shutting down, combining."
In short, not the annihilation pictured by Colvin in his earlier statement. Both positions can be reconciled in a more moderate, less alarming (and perhaps more accurate) statement: Newsweek.com will cease to exist as a stand-alone Web site, but its editorial operations will continue, and Newsweek-branded content will be distinguished from Daily Beast content on the Web site.
Too bad they didn't just say that.
Perlis Named Forbes CEO
In a major shift for the family-owned publisher, Forbes is getting a CEO from outside the eponymous owners: Mike Perlis, previously a general partner of Softbank Capital, a venture-capital firm. Before Softbank, Perlis served as president and CEO of Ziff Davis Publishing. His appointment is effective Dec. 1. Tim Forbes, previously the company's COO, will continue to serve as chairman of Forbes Digital, as well as a board member for Forbes Media.
American Media Inc. Files for Chapter 11
As expected, American Media Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer, Shape and Men's Fitness, has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The bankruptcy reorganization has the support of 75% of the company's bondholders and 70% of its creditors, as measured by the value of their holdings. The company will not seek debtor-in-possession financing, and expects to exit Chapter 11 within two months.
Variety Gives Wolinsky the Boot
After less than a year on the job, Leo Wolinsky has been relieved of his position as editor in chief of Variety, The Daily Variety newspaper, and the New York-based edition. Wolinsky previously worked as managing editor for the Los Angeles Times; he was hired by Variety Group Editor Tim Gray in December 2009. The news of his departure comes not long after Richard Beckman's e5 Media relaunched rival magazine The Hollywood Reporter as a hybrid trade-consumer glossy with former Us Weekly editor Janice Min at the helm.