Ailing Newsweek hooks up with The Daily Beast

After extensive negotiations that looked like a non-starter not too long ago, troubled print publication Newsweek has announced a merger with The Daily Beast.

Tina Brown, who edited Vanity Fair and The New Yorker before founding The Daily Beast, commented on the merger on her site last night:

“Working at the warp-speed of a 24/7 news operation, we now add the versatility of being able to develop ideas and investigations that require a different narrative pace suited to the medium of print,” Brown wrote.

She added that Newsweek, founded in 1933, now gains “a thriving frontline of breaking news and commentary that will raise the profile of the magazine’s bylines.”

While Newsweek has had its share of issues with declining readership and stiff competition from online media, Daily Finance points out that The Daily Beast has suffered a loss of traffic as well in the recent past:

The merger may be a marriage of two wounded media operations. Newsweek has lost scads of staff since it was sold by The Post, and it currently has no editor. The Daily Beast has been losing readership. Research firm Compete says the number of unique visitors to the site has dropped from 2.18 million in June to 1.55 million in September — a fall of nearly 30%. Rival Huffington Post has 12.2 million monthly unique visitors.

Oddly, the post above also indicates that The Daily Beast plans to introduce a print edition, despite both outlets currently operating “in the red.”