Tina Brown's image as a media power player remains anchored in the 1980s and the 1990s, when she edited Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. She's attempting to change that with an internet venture, the Daily Beast, funded by InterActive Corp. chairman Barry Diller. But an early blunder getting Beast off the ground has left Brown red-faced and more shackled to her past than ever. It seems Brown's big idea for launching her website was — stop us if you've heard this one before — to publish a big list of the most powerful people in Hollywood. "The idea is so 1980s," one source told Nikki Finke. Apparently no one is even bothering to call Brown's staff back as they attempt to report the feature:
[Brown man Tom] Tapp is sending out increasingly desperate-sounding emails to flacks working for studios, tenpercenteries, big producers and PR firms begging for help. ("Hey Man, We need to get moving on this. Any chance we can set something up in the two weeks?")
Finke reports that Hollywood players think Brown's star is fading and hate the moguls she has consorted with — Harvey Weinstein, Mike Ovitz and now Diller.
But there's a strategic error, as well, in Brown's attempt to cozy up to Hollywood: The Huffington Post already has the town in a blog bear hug. Good luck getting between celebrities and their beloved Arianna!
Meanwhile, Brown is angling to lead the revival of Alistair Cooke's Letter From America radio show on the BBC. How 20th century. A real internet mogul would stoop to nothing more retro than a niche-y podcast.