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Andrew Sullivan Set To Start Independent Pay Site February 1

AndrewsullivanbeastGay blogger Andrew Sullivan announced today that he and his executive editorial team, Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner, are leaving their virtual home at Newsweek-owned The Daily Beast to set up shop as a pay site with no ads, a move they say will help them get back to their online grassroots.

From Sullivan's announcement:

...As we contemplated the end of our contract with the Beast at the end of 2012, we faced a decision... As we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism. And since the Dish has, from its beginnings, attempted to pioneer exactly such a solid future for web journalism, we also felt we almost had a duty to try and see if we could help break some new ground.

The only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance, and legal, technological and accounting expenses.
...
As of February 1, we will revert to our old URL - www.andrewsullivan.com... Here's the core principle: we want to create a place where readers - and readers alone - sustain the site. No bigger media companies will be subsidizing us; no venture capital will be sought to cushion our transition (unless my savings count as venture capital); and, most critically, no advertising will be getting in the way.

The cost will be $19.99 a year, which works out to about a nickel a day. Whether or not you think that is a fair price probably depends on how much you value Sullivan and his team's opinions. If you ask me, that's actually a pretty good deal.

In the meantime, The team's work will still be accessible at The Daily Beast until their new site officially launches next month.


Tina Brown on Newsweek's Cover: 'Obama Earns Every Stripe in That Gay-Lo'

Gaylo

Brandon posted Newsweek's new cover over the weekend.

Editor Tina Brown tells Politico today:

“If President Clinton was the ‘first black president’ then Obama earns every stripe in that ‘gaylo’ with last week’s gay marriage proclamation. Newsweek’s cover pays tribute to his newly ordained place in history."


New 'Newsweek' Cover: The First Gay President

Here's the cover of the new Newsweek:

NewsweekCover

The headline tries for wit in its unsubtle recollection of a profile of Bill Clinton authored by Toni Morrison, entitled "Clinton as the First Black President," which appeared in the New Yorker in 1998. In it, Morrison wrote:

Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food loving boy from Arkansas.

Andrew Sullivan's Newsweek story has yet to be posted to the web, so there's no telling if he's written similarly of Barack Obama. Hard to imagine he would. I'm pretty sure Obama's never "displayed" any gay "tropes," if such things exist at all.


Andrew Sullivan joins The Daily Beast/Newsweek

Andrew Sullivan is leaving The Atlantic and is moving his 'Daily Dish' column to The Daily Beast, Tina Brown reports:

Sullivan "Starting in early April, Andrew’s blog will occupy a new channel on The Daily Beast, and its continual updates will of course be billboarded on the site’s homepage. As versatile and powerful in print as he is online, Andrew will also become a contributor to Newsweek magazine."

Sullivan adds:

"...there are some opportunities you just can't let pass by. The chance to be part of a whole new experiment in online and print journalism, in the Daily Beast and Newsweek adventure, is just too fascinating and exciting a challenge to pass up. And to work with media legends, Barry Diller and Tina Brown, and with the extraordinary businessmen Sidney Harman and Stephen Colvin, is the opportunity of a lifetime. Barry was the person who first introduced me to the Internet in the early 1990s, and we have remained friends ever since. Tina Brown needs no introduction, but to see her in action as we have discussed this new adventure over the past few weeks has been quite a revelation."


Report: Daily Beast and Newsweek to Merge

The announcement is coming tomorrow, reports the New York Observer:

Newsweekbeast "It will be a 50-50 merger of the two companies. The editorial staffs will combine under the editorship of Tina Brown, who will again run a high-profile glossy. Newsweek owner Sidney Harman, 92, and IAC chairman Barry Diller had for weeks disagreed over an operating structure for the hybrid publication. The deal reached today establishes a daily role for Mr. Harman and strong editorial independence for Ms. Brown...For now, Newsweek will be called Newsweek and The Daily Beast will be called The Daily Beast, with some intermingling of the names to come later."

UPDATE: The official announcement.


Tina Brown Launches Online Beast

Beastt

Former New Yorker editor and Talk magazine founder Tina Brown's online behemoth, The Daily Beast, launches today, and certainly has the Huffington Post, Salon, Slate, and New York magazine in its sights.

The site is named after the fictional tabloid in Evelyn Waugh's 1938 novel Scoop.

In a Q&A on the site, Brown is asked if she's doing this because she's jealous of Arianna Huffington. Says Brown: "Not entirely, though I have always followed Arianna's career with the liveliest interest. She is a very old friend, going back to when she was at Cambridge and I was at Oxford. I love what she has achieved at HuffPo. And her partner Ken Lerer, another old friend, has also been a total mensch about the birthing of our beast."

She describes the site as "a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist."

The Daily Beast [official site]


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