IAC/InterActiveCorp. is exploring a sale of Newsweek, the magazine that went online-only this year, now that the business will break even at the end of the year, according to an internal memo.
The memo, sent to the unit’s staff by Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown and Chief Executive Officer Baba Shetty, said the demands of Newsweek have taken attention and focus away from its sister site, the Daily Beast.
“Last year, as we worked through the U.S. print shutdown, it would have been impossible to even explore options to sell Newsweek,” they said. “Our obligation was to turn the business around, and develop a breakthrough digital product. We’ve done just that.”
Newsweek became majority-owned by New York-based IAC last year. Billionaire Chairman Barry Diller told Bloomberg TV last month that he regrets buying the property, which he merged with the Daily Beast website in 2010. He said publishing a weekly magazine when news has become instantaneous is a “fool’s errand.”
Newsweek published its final print issue in December.
“We’ve transitioned the business to one that will break even in Q4 of this year,” Brown and Shetty said in the memo.
IAC doesn’t officially disclose financial figures for the Newsweek/Daily Beast unit. A person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News in July the business would probably lose as much as $22 million in 2012. The publisher cut editorial jobs in December in an effort to hold down expenses.
Justine Sacco, an IAC spokeswoman, declined to comment on a possible sale. Variety reported yesterday that IAC was seeking buyers for Newsweek.
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