The picture of the grandes dames of New York publishing, fighting for places aboard the internet lifeboats, is a source of endless amusement-not least because they bring their feuds with them.
Radar reports Tina Brown, 55-year-old former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, is putting together a news "aggregator" with backing from another old media legend, a former studio boss IAC's Barry Diller. The site is to be run by Edward Felsenthal, who was one of the first people forced out when Marcus Brauchli took over the Wall Street Journal and found temporary refuge with his former patron at Joanne Lipman's Portfolio.
The former queen of buzz is presumably inspired by her friend, Arianna Huffington, who's built a forum for middle-aged liberal celebrities to sound off against George Bush and promote their often tedious causes. The Huffington Post, casting for an acquiror while its pre-election traffic holds, has put out word that it's now worth $200m.
But if the half-baked venture ever gets off the ground, Brown will also compete against one of her most irritating critics, Michael Wolff, chronicler of the media industry in his columns for New York Magazine and now Vanity Fair. Wolff is a partner in yet another news aggregator, Newser. (It's not doing nearly as badly as I'd expected!) In an email response to Gawker, he gave a typically caustic evaluation of Tina Brown's chances, and Barry Diller's credibility as a backer.
"I have great admiration for Tina and Barry, but the last time I looked Tina was still having trouble getting her email, and Barry...well I think he has a few things to resolve before he puts his mind to the online news business." Zing!