The Times blog MediaDecoder comes with a Sunday afternoon scoop, announcing the departure of another brand-defining Newsweek veteran, as Howard Fineman has packed his bags and is moving to the internet. Fineman follows editor-in-chief Jon Meacham, big fish Fareed Zakaria, Tumblr guru Mark Coatney and more to bail on the newsweekly since it was purchased by billionaire Sidney Harman. Fineman, a Newsweek writer for thirty years and most recently their chief political correspondent, will now work as Ariana Huffington’s senior political editor. “The digital world is where the action is in my line of work, and The Huffington Post is at the center of the new paradigm,” said Fineman. But according to some murmurs, Newsweek might have its eye on the digital frontier, too.
On Friday, New York Post media writer Keith Kelly floated the gossip that Newsweek is flirting with Barry Diller and Tina Brown’s HuffPo rival, the Daily Beast.
The speculation, which has been swirling inside The Daily Beast and Newsweek for weeks, was given an extra push recently when Sidney Harman, the 92-year-old stereo-equipment mogul who finalized the deal for the struggling weekly, and IAC Chairman Diller were spotted having drinks together at the Four Seasons in Georgetown.
This, of course, comes after rumors that Tina Brown might take over at Newsweek, chatter she denied. She has stressed her devotion to the Beast, though some sort of a partnership would be cake-and-eat-it-too-ish.
Still, the Observer is astute to point out that “Newsweek‘s potential online is one of the best things it has going for it, so it’s hard to think of a reason why Mr. Harman would want to let anybody else take a share of that.”
At this point, though, Harman should probably be looking for a shot of adrenaline anywhere he can get it. Or at least a way to stop the hemorrhaging.
Newsweek’s Howard Fineman to Join The Huffington Post [NYT]
Harman, Diller could bring ‘News-Beast’ to life [NYP]
The Latest Hearsay About Tina Brown and Newsweek [NYO]