Barry Diller's Funny Business

Just last month, IAC chief Barry Diller was chiding his fellow moguls for laying workers off in a recession and spending indiscriminately. So how does he explain getting rid of 23/6, his humor site?

The editors of the depressingly unfunny 23/6, whose idea of cleverness is a dancing Wolf Blitzer GIF, are being cast out on the street, a tipster tells us:

Just about everyone is gone. Maybe one or two will go over. All writers are gone.

The site itself is being rescued by Huffington Post, a partner in the joint venture with IAC. Arianna Huffington is turning the site into the Huffington Post's comedy "vertical." (She should first try reviving its horizontal traffic.)

The Huffington Post had promoted 23/6 online, but IAC had fronted all of the site's cash, sources tell Portfolio.com's Jeff Bercovici. (Huffington has a reputation for parsimonious pay, so this move is unlikely to feel like much of a rescue to the few remaining staffers.)

Diller hinted at getting rid of 23/6 when he dissolved IAC's programming group, a division devoted to original online content. And yet, even as he unloads one site, he continues to fund the Daily Beast, an IAC-backed website edited by Tina Brown which is consuming an estimated $6 million a year. Diller hasn't even bothered to unveil a plan for the site to generate revenue.

The man is consistently inconsistent. Don't lay people off — but get rid of an entire division! Avoid profligate spending — unless Tina Brown sweet-talks you into it! We suspect his public lecture of his fellow billionaires last month was some kind of bizarre group therapy. It's called projection, Barry.