Mystery #2: Why the Beast Swoons?
Mystery Beast Illness: The Daily Beast swoon seems to be continuing. No ad salesperson likes to take a stats chart like this to Madison Ave. Advertisers want to see steadily rising popularity, not a four-month decline. And on the Web page views do tend to rise, albeit sometimes slowly. So why would they be falling at the Beast? … If it’s true, as I’ve heard, that Tina Brown has now decamped for Newsweek magazine with all her favorite hires, leaving the remnants at the Beast web site feeling abandoned like unwanted stepchildren … well, the page view decline is still a mystery. That development should have been good for the Beast. Consider two possibilities. a) There were talented writers and editors left behind at the site who are now liberated, free to do their best work outside the Tina Vortex of Madness (which has moved on, like a tropical depression, to the mainland print publication). In that case, unleashing all their fine writing should increase page views, no? Or else b) there were no talented writers left behind, but only hacks who couldn’t think of anything more creative to do than riff off whatever was at the top of the Google search list–which should also increase page views. … Like I said, it’s a mystery. If only Michael Wolff were still alive, he could explain it to us.
It would be a tragedy if Barry Diller and Jane Harman ran out of patience and we lost our era’s authentic voice of media desperation. …
Update: Loss of the Beast‘s “partnership” with MSNBC would go some ways toward explaining the mystery. Cancelling this arrangement might or might not have made sense for the Beast, depending on the details of the deal. (Was MSNBC being paid for these links? I hear yes. If so, how much?) ….