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Newsweek and Daily Beast not to merge

Merger talks called off due to unresolved editorial and governance differences.

Newsweek magazine and news and comments portal The Daily Beast have decided not to merge following weeks of talks, as differences over editorial control and governance could not be resolved.

Sidney Harman, the new owner of Newsweek, and Barry Diller, owner of the Beast, issued a joint statement saying the breakup was mutual.

The Wall Street Journal reports that talks stalled on the issue of how control of the merged media business would be divided among Harman, Diller and Tina Brown - the founder and chief editor of the Beast.

Brown said on Monday said the "wedding" was called off as the "pre-nup got too complex," although "the engagement was fun." She told The New York Times that the complexities of Newsweek's "infrastructure, legacy and our [the Beast's] desire to stay nimble ultimately made this not the right decision at this time."

Loss-making Newsweek saw an exodus of editorial staff following its acquisition by Harman from the Washington Post Co a few months ago. Brown was tipped to fill in Jon Meacham's vacancy as top editor of the weekly if the merger went forward.