Can the 'NewsBeast' Really Make Money?

A year from now, the marriage Newsweek magazine with the Daily Beast website will bear a “very strong bottom line,” Stephen Colvin, CEO of the newly formed Newsweek Daily Beast Company, told CNBC Tuesday.

“Two great franchises and two great cross-platforms mark the opportunities to reach the most sought after audiences there is, the thought leader audience,” said Colvin, who formerly was the president of Dennis Publishing, which produces Maxim. “We can do that in all kinds of ways.”

Media observers, however, are skeptical this union will be lucrative, because both media properties have been money losers.

The deal announced last week unites respected editor Tina Brown with Newsweek, one of the most recognizable brands in the magazine business. The joint venture will be owned equally by Barry Diller’s IAC and audio magnate Sidney Harman, who bought the 77-year-old Newsweek from its long-time owner, the Washington Post Company

earlier this year. Brown, now the editor in chief of the Daily Beast, will serve as the head editor of both publications.

Brown launched the Daily Beast, owned by IAC, two years ago.

Brown, known for her turnarounds of established publications, notably reinvigorated Vanity Fair and the New Yorker magazines by adding a combination of in-depth articles, celebrity coverage and splashy graphics. She said Newsweek will continue to be produced in print.

“This is about a thriving, vibrant, young website that launched only two years ago,” said Brown, referring to the Daily Beast.

“You call it money-losing, excuse me. But this is about a website that’s proving out its investment from Barry Diller [CEO and chairman of IAC] so incredibly well and aggressively, we are on course to make money.”