Tina Brown Is Not In A Catfight With Arianna Huffington

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Tina Brown, former editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and Talk, now helms The Daily Beast, a blog that generated 1.1 million unique visitors its first month. So why is it always about Arianna?

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According to Howard Kurtz's Washington Post piece, Tina Brown's blog is, by most measures, a growing success in a media climate that has seen plenty of cutbacks and layoffs over the last month. Even Arianna's flagship publication hasn't filled at least two holes in its paid reporting staff — Seth Coulter Walls and Rachel Sklar both left after the election, and that's just off the top of my head. And yet Brown's site, which has a completely different vibe, layout and mission than the Huffington Post, is always portrayed as the competitor.

Some early accounts focused on a rivalry with Brown's old friend Arianna Huffington, because the Beast is obviously competing with the Huffington Post, one of the most popular liberal sites. Brown says she is "hugely admiring" of Huffington and calls the media chatter "irresistible, because it's so much fun. If there isn't a catfight, you have to invent one."

Is it really so unlikely that two female Internet media entrepreneurs would be competing with all the various male entrepreneurs instead of just one another?

The Huffington Post has become, for all intents and purposes, a site driven by its left-leaning political writing, with some room for the financial crisis and lifestyle stuff. Tina Brown's site is a compendium of everything from politics to lifestyle and plenty of news-y stuff (without republishing AP wire stories). In fact, you could argue that The Huffington Post is, in some ways, more of a competitor with sites like DailyKos and The Drudge Report, while The Daily Beast is building about good writing that covers the media, pop culture and politics with its tongue, occasionally, firmly in its cheek. I'm sure there are some sites out there doing that kind of work — even ones that are helmed by men. But I guess that's not as sexy.

For Tina Brown, It's All for The Beast [Washington Post]

DISCUSSION

By
Hortense Smith

I would think that the Daily Beast would be more of a competitor for NYMag or the like, and that HuffPo is actually giving CNN and MSNBC a run for their money, in terms of political coverage, anyway.

Why does it seem like sometimes the entire world views every successful woman as a contestant on some bizarro universal America's Next Top Model?