According to an internal memo obtained by Capital New York, Barry Diller’s IAC will sell the digital remains of Newsweek to IBT Media, owner of the eight-year-old news start-up the International Business Times (which, somewhat eerily, currently occupies Newsweek’s old offices at 7 Hanover Square.) “Earlier today, a deal was signed for the sale of Newsweek and I am delighted to inform you that the new owner will be IBT Media,” read the e-mail sent to employees of Newsweek and cannibal sibling site the Daily Beast (which is not being sold.) “Effective as of the closing, which we expect to occur in approximately a week, there will be a transition period of up to 60 days, during which we will continue to run the business. IBT will be talking to staff during this time about potential job opportunities at the new venture and as we learn more about this process we will of course inform you and the Guild.”
Meanwhile, Buzzfeed’s Matt Zeitlin tweeted IBT’s statement, which said, in part, “[IBT] plans to build on the Newsweek brand and editorial offering to grow the online franchise with readers around the world. Newsweek will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of IBT Media. Newsweek will continue to serve its subscribers and deliver compelling and thought-provoking news and analysis. Foreign license agreements to publish Newsweek in international markets will remain in place.” The press release also said Newsweek will reclaim its old URL, which currently redirects visitors to the Daily Beast, and that the site will also serve as a home for “IBT Media’s portfolio of 10 international online news properties.”
IBT co-founder and CEO Etienne Uzac also had this to say: “We are thrilled to welcome this iconic brand and global news property into our portfolio. We believe in the Newsweek brand and look forward to growing it, fully transformed to the digital age. We respect the brand’s long history of delivering high-quality, impactful journalism and believe this aligns well with IBT media’s culture and mission.” Basically, it seems that IBT is hoping to use Newsweek’s name recognition to increase traffic to its existing news site. What they paid for that privilege is not yet known. Diller’s now deceased Newsweek co-owner Sidney Harman purchased the magazine for $1 from Washington Post Company back in 2010, but Diller eventually concluded that even that low price was too high.