Strong Personalities Color Talks Between Newsweek, Daily Beast

Newsweek magazine and the Daily Beast news website are deep in talks over a possible combination and the likelihood of a deal is increasing, though some hurdles remain.

The key question hanging over talks is whether a merged operation would be big enough for the three outsize personalities that such a deal would bring together, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A deal would make Daily Beast co-founder and co-owner Tina Brown the editor of Newsweek on top of her existing editorial duties at the website, answering to two bosses who are heavily invested, both emotionally and financially, in their respective properties.

Stereo tycoon Sidney Harman, who recently acquired Newsweek from Washington Post Co., has said he didn’t buy the magazine to make money. He bought it because he was drawn to the challenge of turning it around and has strong convictions about how that can happen.

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