Canadian Magazine Industry News
14 April 2010,     TORONTO
Ken Whyte interviews Tina Brown at CMDC
The recent Canadian Media Directors Council annual conference hosted a lunch session which featured Rogers vice president and publisher, consumer publishing Ken Whyte interviewing co-founder and editor in chief Tina Brown.

Ken Whyte and Tina Brown at the CMDC conference
Ken Whyte and Tina Brown at the CMDC conference

Brown, who has worked as editor in chief at Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Talk Magazine said she didn’t want to make the move online when the offer came to her to work at The Daily Beast. “I always felt I was a print girl, didn’t want to go and work for a website,” she said. “I decided I would do it for six months, but I fell in love with the process, the merging of content and design on the site.”

The launch of The Daily Beast was not highly publicized, but was well timed – happening during the 2008 election campaign period. Brown said the site quickly found readers and now has had 4.6 million unique visitors per month. “The exciting thing of doing something online is that you can suddenly find an audience,” she said. “I’m a response junkie, the right point of view at the right moment can catch.”

As for the business model of the site, Brown said it doesn’t want to use banner ads, instead looking for integrated sponsors. The emphasis though, either in print or online must be on excellent content, she said. “I put my flag down in excellent content,” she said. “If you have that, ultimately you will find a business model.” Brown said The Daily Beast will become a multi-platform brand, calling the iPad “glorious to look at” and noting the two print books already published by Beast Books. “We can use the site to develop platforms, judge what will do well,” she said.

— Val Maloney
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