Newsweek publisher leaves with 2 top editors

AP News
Posted: Nov 14, 2011 9:28 PM
Newsweek publisher leaves with 2 top editors

The executive hired to help steer Newsweek magazine through tough times has been let go after less than 11 months on the job.

Ray Chelstowski, who served as publisher of Newsweek and The Daily Beast website, left Monday. He had come from Entertainment Weekly magazine to oversee an effort to boost ad sales at Newsweek.

Executive Editor Edward Felsenthal and Tom Weber, the magazine's managing editor, resigned Monday. Felsenthal is leaving to spend more time with his family and may eventually return, according to Andrew Kirk, a spokesman for Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

The mass departures coincided with the hiring of two executives.

No specific reasons were given for the sudden management changes, other than for Felsenthal's departure.

"These changes position The Newsweek Daily Beast Co. for continued rapid growth as a global, multi-platform news organization," Rob Gregory, the venture's president, said in a statement Monday.

Former Newsweek bureau chief and correspondent Mark Miller has been named editorial operations director. Former CBS Interactive executive Eric Danetz is joining Newsweek and The Daily Beast as senior vice president of sales.

Danetz will assume Chelstowski's responsibilities. A new publisher hasn't been named.

Justine Rosenthal, who had been Newsweek's senior editor, has been promoted to executive editor of the magazine. Jane Spencer was given the same title at The Daily Beast.

Like many magazines and newspapers, Newsweek has had trouble adapting to an upheaval in the print media as readers get more of their information from free websites and advertisers funnel more of their marketing budgets to less expensive alternatives online.

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Mounting losses at the 78-year-old magazine had prompted The Washington Post Co. to sell it for $1 to stereo equipment magnate Sidney Harman last year. Harman died seven months ago.

Before he died, Harman placed Newsweek into a joint venture with The Daily Beast in an effort to trim the magazine's losses and widen its online audience. Newsweek had about $30 million in losses in 2009 in its final full year under the Post Co.'s control. It was en route to another loss last year when it united with The Daily Beast, a 3-year-old website backed by IAC/InterActiveCorp. The joint venture installed The Daily Beast's founder, magazine veteran Tina Brown, as Newsweek's editor in chief.