The media mogul Barry Diller has pulled The Daily Beast off the auction block.
Mr. Diller, the chairman of the digital media company IAC, said on Friday that The Daily Beast — a digital tabloid known for its aggressive political and media coverage — is not for sale.
Until recent days, according to people with knowledge of the talks, he had been in discussions about a deal with Ankler Media, a start-up that has earned a reputation for its unsparing coverage of Hollywood elites since Janice Min, a longtime magazine editor, co-founded it early last year.
“We did have negotiations with The Ankler, but we have withdrawn from them,” Mr. Diller, 81, said in a statement. “The Daily Beast is not for sale.”
He did not elaborate on his plans for The Daily Beast, a publication that the magazine editor Tina Brown first edited in 2008 and that has earned plaudits for its journalism.
Mr. Diller’s decision concludes a monthslong effort to find a new home for The Daily Beast. The publication is a small part of IAC, a holding company that owns magazines including People, Better Homes and Gardens, and Southern Living.
In mid-January, The New York Times reported that Mr. Diller was exploring a sale of The Daily Beast, which has struggled to find its footing as an independent business. In an interview with PBS a couple of weeks later, he said he wanted to find a new owner for the publication that would invest in it.
“It ain’t an easy path, but nevertheless it’s what we got,” Mr. Diller said of the tough economic conditions facing digital journalism. “And we better treasure it and improve upon it and not allow it to be captured by either side of extreme forces.”
Mr. Diller recently considered a deal that would have created a joint venture that owned both The Daily Beast and The Ankler, according to the people with knowledge of the talks. He would have taken a stake in the business, providing cash that would have helped fund its operations.
Ms. Min, 53, who previously revamped The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, was in discussions to run the new venture, according to the people with knowledge of the talks. Ms. Min said Ankler Media was valued at $20 million in a $1.5 million funding round last year, adding that The Ankler was on a pace to generate revenues in the mid-seven figures this year.
Ms. Min said a deal with The Daily Beast wasn’t a good fit for The Ankler.
“We were approached, explored the idea, and ultimately it didn’t make sense for The Ankler,” she said in a statement. “We are fans of The Daily Beast and Barry and wish them much success.”
Benjamin Mullin is a media reporter for The Times, covering the major companies behind news and entertainment. @benmullin
Source: Read Full Article