The revolving door of the NewsBeast has come around to the digital side. Daniel Blackman, a Google vet who became chief digital officer a little over a year ago, has left the company. Insiders said he was pushed out; Blackman couldn't be reached.
His departure comes at a time when the Daily Beast is experiencing some momentum, with year-over-year gains in traffic and revenue and Webby Award honors in May for best news site. The print side also is up—ad pages jumped 28 percent in first-quarter 2012 versus the year-ago quarter.
“The Newsweek Daily Beast ecosystem is producing great results,” Newsweek Daily Beast Co. president Rob Gregory said, adding that the company just poached Atlantic journalist Megan McArdle and hired Doug Bachelis as executive director of marketing.
Looking at the data in a more sobering way, though, that first-quarter gain was essentially making up for what Newsweek lost in the year-ago quarter (when ad pages fell 31 percent amid the merger). Also on the ad front, NewsBeast national sales director Kris Weinisch recently bolted for Condé Nast to be sales development director at The New Yorker.
And, in another sign of trouble, this week’s double issue contains 60 pages, quite possibly the magazine’s smallest double since its mashup with the Beast a little over a year ago. There are eight doubles in all on the 2012 editorial calendar, which means Newsweek will be publishing 44 issues this year (to Time's 51). Those who follow the company know the calendar's not necessarily the final word, though: last year, Newsweek had three doubles on the edit calendar but ended up publishing 10.