Newsweek’s new owners downplay ties to evangelical preacher

BuzzFeed | Christianity Today | The New York Times

International Business Times owners Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis, who purchased Newsweek this past weekend, tell BuzzFeed’s Peter Lauria they have only thin ties to evangelical preacher David Jang.

They conceded that they had a working relationship with Olivet University, which was founded by Jang. The relationship involves such things are placing students in internships, using the school’s servers, and getting design assistance. …

Uzac said he has been to Olivet several times and has met and knows Jang. He added that IBT has had a “great working relationship with” Olivet so far and would continue to explore opportunities with the University just as it would with other organizations.

Lauria’s report does not note that Davis is married to Olivet president Tracy McBeal Davis, that Davis formerly served as former director of journalism at Olivet, and that Olivet’s website had listed Uzac as its treasurer,” Ted Olsen writes in Christianity Today, which has previously reported on Jang.

Olsen also writes that “IBTimes leaders took part in Internet chats with Jang (usually weekly) where the pastor laid out his plans for various business units, like Olivet University and the Christian Post.”

In related news, Leslie Kaufman and Christine Haughney report on Tina Brown’s time atop the Newsweek masthead. The publishing legend was charged in 2010 with saving the magazine. Nut graf:

It was always a quixotic project to blend a buzzy, growing Web site with the most outdated of print relics, a newsweekly. But interviews with more than two dozen former and current employees — some provided by Ms. Brown and some reached independently — suggested that she and Mr. Diller underestimated what it would take to reverse the dive of a print magazine (the two have acknowledged as much) and that there was never a credible plan to integrate the products into a better whole (an opinion they utterly contest). These people also suggest that Ms. Brown’s intensely demanding and chaotic management style, which had thrived when contained within established companies, proved a combustible combination with Newsweek’s gutted and weakened editorial and sales divisions.

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