Waking Up 'The Daily Beast': IAC Partners With Ben Sherwood and Joannna Coles

The Daily Beast, the brainchild of Tina Brown, is being reorganized by new managers under a strategic partnership between owner IAC and industry veterans Ben Sherwood and Joannna Coles. 

Sherwood and Coles will share a large interest in the IAC entity, the parties state without disclosing the terms. 

The Beast was founded by Brown in 2008.

Sherwood, a former leader at Disney, will serve as publisher and CEO. Coles, who has held the title of chief content officer for Hearst Magazines will be chief creative and content officer.

The goal is to bring the Beast back to its rebel roots and “make it even beastier,” according to Coles.

"These are tough times for digital journalism, but the combined experience, expertise and energy of Ben and Joanna have made me an optimist about their ability to make The Beast an enduring and successful enterprise," says Barry Diller, chairman and senior executive of IAC, which owns Dotdash Meredith.



Sherwood was co-chair of The Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney ABC Television Group. He left Disney in 2019 and founded MOJO, a youth sports technology firm, which was sold to TeamSnap late last year.  

"Timing is everything, and the current media hellstorm feels like the ideal moment to jump back into journalism," Sherwood says. "Yes, everything feels upside down right now with busted business models and transformative technology. With so much disruption—or maybe because of it—we believe this is the ideal entrepreneurial opportunity to deliver on The Beast's insurgent promise.” 

Coles started her career on London’s Fleet Street and went on to become editor in chief of Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. She serves on the board of SNAP, and helped build the Discover platform at SNAP.  

"Tina Brown's original vision of The Beast as a sophisticated tabloid is even more relevant today," says Coles. "Our pirate mission is to cover the stories and people that grab us and have fun along the way.” 

Coles adds, “Yes, these are serious times and we will track the conflict flaring in the Middle East, but our arrival at The Beast also coincides with the opening of the Trial of the Century and so you can expect all out coverage at the courthouse with our Senior Where-is-Melania Reporter and our Chief Hope Hicks Correspondent."

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