In the latest update to the Newsweek Daily Beast saga, WWD's John Koblin doesn't have a lot of encouraging things to say about the state of affairs under editor Tina Brown. It's nothing we haven't heard before. Koblin casts Brown is the regular star in a "classic tale of impulsiveness" and writes how "Brown’s second-guessing of stuff happens all week, every week." Earlier this week, tension between senior NewsBeast staffers and Brown, the former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker after moving from England, appeared at its breaking point with the prompt exit of the company's publisher and top two editors, including Edward Felsenthal who'd served as Brown's top lieutenant since the prelaunch days of The Daily Beast, three years ago. Koblin's several anonymous sources — unsurprisingly not a single staffer was willing to go on the record and criticize their boss — paint a gritty picture of what it's like to work under Brown. Koblin calls them "broken":
“You’re exposed relentlessly to the truth that we’re not putting out a good magazine,” said one staffer. “I mean, Regis Philbin is our cover this week.”
“People are completely exhausted,” said another Newsweek source. “I don’t think you’ll find anyone who thinks the magazine is great.”
“It can be a miserable place to work,” said yet another.
In a phone interview, Brown, who was sitting in the Quiet Car on the Acela, was asked about that vision, and if she could talk a bit about her Newsweek. It was about 12 minutes into the conversation.
“I’d love to talk to you for 20 minutes but I really can’t do that anymore,” she said. “I’ve got a conference call.”
Her assistant suddenly came on the line and explained she really needed to get to her next call.