Dethroned "Queen Of Buzz" stages comeback

Tina Brown
Random House
For two decades, she was the "It Girl" in publishing: the editor with a Midas touch. But in 2001, the woman who could not fail, did. And some wrote her off as "the dethroned queen of buzz."
It's been said there are no second acts in American lives. But, at 54, Tina Brown is out to prove there are, reports CBS News correspondent Erin Moriarty.

Her start up magazine Talk folded seven years ago. And then her show on CNBC did too, and suddenly, some began to write Brown off.

"It's great when people trash you because it means that you're interesting and they want to write about you and they are still provoked by you," Brown told Moriarty.

She's counting on that, because Tina Brown is back in the editor's saddle. And this time, she's at the reins of The Daily Beast.

"This is such a new idea for me," Brown said. "If you'd said to me five years ago, I'd be doing this, I'd think you are out of your mind."

The name of Brown's newest venture is taken from a 1938 British novel, but it is anything but old school. The Daily Beast is a magazine entirely on the web, a digest that includes original columns.

"I've got so many writers that I know," Brown said. "So many people in television and movies, I now have this immense network in a sense."

In addition, Brown chooses what she deems the best articles and videos available on the web and posts them on The Daily Beast.

"The Beast is - is like a kind of a salon - of smart minds who are exchanging conversations and ideas. And mixing how they feel about the world, of what they've just read and seen and heard. It's almost like you get a seat at the table. Maybe that that's not your world. But what we allow people to do, in a sense, is to come on and be part of - the conversation. And to join in the smart table.

Brown has had a seat at "the smart table" her whole life. Her father, a British theatre producer and her mother, actor Laurence Olivier's assistant, raised her outside London surrounded by bold-face names.

"There were always movie people at home always," Brown says. "Sir Richard Attenborough, Laurence Olivier for one, Vivien Leigh, people of that nature."

The young woman thrived. At just 23, she had already written two plays and was working as a freelance journalist for the Times of London - Harold Evans was the editor.

"I've worked with many great writers and Tina has an uncanny capacity for two things," Evans says. "Mimicry. She's a very good mimic. And a terrific ear for dialogue, and I remember being struck. I thought she looked promising."

And within six months - their professional relationship turned romantic.

"I was 23," Brown says.

"And he was?" Moriarty asked.

"Twenty five years older," Brown says.

And it was tough. He was married at the time too.