The news comes from IAC/InterActiveCorp chief Barry Diller in a conference call with analysts to discuss his company’s earnings. Newsweek/Daily Beast is “squarely on our heads,” he said following the recent decision by the family of Sidney Harman to pull back its funding for the joint venture. Diller says that IAC also won’t “contribute to the losses of the business as they’ve been this year…Our investment next year will be considerably less.” Does that mean Diller will scrap the print publication, and just offer news and commentary online? Not clear. “The transition will happen,” Diller says although he adds “I’m not saying it will happen totally.” But either late this year or early next “it’ll be different. I can’t tell you in what ways.” The problem is that advertising in newsweeklies is “entirely elective.” Yet he praised editor Tina Brown’s efforts. “The brand is stronger than when we acquired it,” he says. “There’s been true improvement in the book. Tina Brown and her staff have done a superb job.” Although IAC doesn’t breakout financials for Newsweek/Daily Beast, it said this morning that the inclusion of the property in the Q2 results contributed to higher losses for the Media group. IAC took an $18.6M pre-tax non-cash charge to recognize the declining value of its investment in the property.
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