Former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown is teaming with Barry Diller on the creation of a non-partisan news aggregation site, Radar reports. Edward Felsenthal, the former deputy managing editor of the Wall Street Journal who has lately been serving as a consultant at Portfolio, has been tapped as the site's editor. Brown is mum on when it will launch or what the site will be named.
Radar highlights a recent NYT item on the Huffington Post's estimated $200 million, but Brown doesn't take the bait, insisting that she's not trying to compete with the left-leaning news site.
-- Joseph adds: A source familiar with the project says it's not a Diller project per se, but an IAC (NSDQ: IACI) venture. Consistent with Brown's insistence that she's not going after the Huffington Post, we're told the venture will not produce original content, but will consist of hand-selected links to outside posts, much of it with a cultural focus. Early versions of the site have experimented with links displayed on a map and on a chart, somewhat similar to New York magazine's "Approval Matrix," which places events from the week on a grid based on the editors' tastes (see an example here).
Also, for some perspective on the company's successes with recent launches, check out FiLife.com, the personal finance JV it launched with Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) last year. It's exactly where it was when it quietly launched last Augustit's just a finance blog with one post every few days. We're not sure exactly what the status of it is, but one of its editors, Ron Lieber, recently left to write a finance column at the New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Also, as Radar notes, the company's homegrown comedy site 23/6, (tagline: Some Of The News, Most Of The Time), a JV with the Huffington Post, doesn't seem to have had much of an impactthough at least it appears to have fresh content.
By David Kaplan