[UPDATE at bottom]
According to BuzzFeed’s Peter Lauria, veteran journalist and editor Tina Brown is leaving The Daily Beast, the online website she and media mogul Barry Diller teamed up to start in October 2008.
Lauria cites a source familiar with the situation and reports Diller will not renew Brown’s contract when it expires next January.
Lauria’s source also says the future of The Daily Beast is in question.
“As for the future of The Daily Beast website that Brown edits, no decision has been made,” Lauria wrote. “Included among the options IAC is considering are a sale, closure, or continuing to operate it under a new editor. According to the source, the latter option would require ‘looking at the business to see if it can be turned around.’”
The Daily Beast had shown some signs of life, which Lauria pointed out in his report.
According to figures from Omniture published in the Hollywood Reporter in August, The Daily Beast “claims its six-month running average is up 28 percent on a year-over-year basis to 16.6 million unique visitors a month.” Brown boasted of the site’s gains as recently as last week.
Beast roars into September…posting a 22% YTD traffic increase for August – congrats to all @thedailybeast!
— Tina Brown (@TheTinaBeast) September 3, 2013
A source close to the negotiations between Diller and Brown tells The Daily Caller it was Brown’s choice to leave The Daily Beast and an announcement of the launch of her own company, Tina Brown Media and Women in the World is forthcoming.
“She sees this as an opportunity to bring both editorial and business interests under her control,” the source told the Caller.