Tina Brown, who's edited Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and now the Daily Beast, wrote an essay this week decrying the "Media Zombies"—the "feckless bureaucrats" who spent money unwisely and are really responsible for all the media layoffs going on right now. That's a bit rich (ha), coming from a woman who is famous, above all else, for throwing money around like confetti. Let's take a wildly abbreviated tour of Tina's spending history, shall we?
In 1999, she launched Talk magazine with a historically extravagant party on Liberty Island. Talk went on to fail. For her new venture, the Daily Beast, she was handed... somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million, for an online venture that does not have any real prospects of making money yet.
When she came over from the UK years ago to take over VanityFair and, later, the New Yorker, she always treated money as no object. Luxurious parties with celebrities were her PR method of choice. She's excellent at building buzz (for good or bad). But she's far from a prudent money manager who's in a position to lecture about the path to media profitability.
Let's take a look at a few quick literary excerpts concerning Tina Brown and money! From Autumn of the Moguls:
From Citizen Newhouse:
Newhouse, big money in both England and America:
We could go on! But you get the point. You want to know about money management, ask an accountant, not an editor. And certainly not Tina Brown.