Jane Harman Takes Over Director Role at 'Newsweek' Daily Beast


In a move that suggests continuing commitment to the venture, Jane Harman -- the widow of Sidney Harman, a former congresswoman and now president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars -- will assume the role of director on the board of directors for The Newsweek Daily Beast Company.

The news comes a little more than a week after her husband Sidney Harman passed away at 92.

The stereo magnate's death on April 13 had cast some doubt on the future of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, which he helped create after acquiring the beleaguered newsweekly for $1 and the assumption of debts and pension liabilities back in August 2010.

Three months later, in November 2010, he struck a deal to merge Newsweek with The Daily Beast, a Web site devoted to news aggregation headed by former New Yorker Editor Tina Brown and backed financially by Barry Diller.



Some speculated that Harman's passing might imperil the new company, especially if his heirs did not share his enthusiasm for magazine publishing. While Harman aimed to put Newsweek on a sound financial footing, it seems likely he planned to subsidize the beleaguered newsweekly, at least in the near term.

Total ad pages declined 19.8%, from 1,117 in 2009 to 896 in 2010. This was just the latest in a series of sharp declines amid a steep economic downturn and competition from the Internet. The 2010 figure is down 55% from 1,991 in 2006.

The family stated that it would retain ownership and continue in an active management role at The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Jane Harman's move to join the board of directors seems intended to confirm this ongoing commitment.

Diller is assuming the role of executive chairman. Harman stated: "I have agreed to represent the Harman family's 50% interest in Newsweek and The Daily Beast and to join Barry Diller on the Board. The Harman family fully endorsed Sidney's vision to save and restore Newsweek, and to merge it with The Daily Beast."

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