Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, and Sidney Harman, owner of Newsweek, appeared on CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday to discuss the merger of the two companies, and they hinted at some of the changes that may be in store.
Host Howard Kurtz, who is also DC bureau chief for The Daily Beast, characterized Newsweek as a "damaged brand," having lost losing $40 million last year and most of its big-name writers, but both Brown and Harman stressed that Newsweek has a bright future.
"I regard Newsweek as a fantastic, legendary brand," Brown said. "The DNA of Newsweek is really a great, great one. And I'm very excited about it, because I think that with the adrenaline and news metabolism of The Daily Beast joining forces with Newsweek's terrific deep culture of news and quality, it's a great combination."
Still, there will be some adjustments. Brown said she plans to hire more women at Newsweek: "The DNA will just slightly shift -- I'm sorry to warn you about that, Sidney," she said. And, though they were loathe to admit it, job cuts may also be on the horizon. "It is inevitable that if we merge two organizations intelligently, there will be some modification," Harman said. "I so dislike that emphasis on job cuts. What we're here to do is to produce a stunningly effective combination and to save as many jobs as possible." Currently, Newsweek employs 250 people, and The Daily Beast has a staff of 70.
Harman was succinct about Newsweek's path back from the brink: "It will be difficult. It will be manageable. It will be done."