Harman family stops investing in Newsweek, says move is ‘purely financial’

Reuters | The New York Observer
The family of hi-fi magnate Sidney Harman “does not intend to make further capital contributions” to Newsweek Daily Beast, Peter Lauria reports. That leaves the venture’s print magazine fully in the hands of IAC/InterActiveCorp, whose chairman, Barry Diller, agreed with Harman to merge The Daily Beast with Newsweek in 2010.

Harman died in 2011. A lawyer for his family tells Lauria the move was “purely financial,” batting back speculation from those who say that “the family felt the magazine was emphasizing the sensational over the intellectual.”

Newsweek was losing money when Harman bought it, and it’s still losing money, Lauria writes. But IAC’s not a bad place for the magazine to try to find its footing:

The company reported a first quarter profit of about $91 million, a 52 percent increase from the prior year. As of March 31, IAC had $776 million in cash and cash equivalents, and only $96 million of debt on its balance sheet.

Foster Kamer compiles a funny timeline of the Harman family’s involvement in Newsweek. In it he quotes from a New York Times article published after Harman’s death in which his lawyer said the family “is totally committed to Newsweek and its future.”

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