The fear is palpable in Brown's Daily Beast column about Portfolio. If Condé Nast is giving up on a big project like Portfolio, she asks, how will it nurture visionary, money-losing editors like... well, like Tina Brown? Has Si Newhouse, steadfast chairman of the magazine group, and longtime Brown benefactor, lost his stamina — his manhood?
The fact that [Newhouse] elected to close [Portfolio]... suggests a worrying element of panic engulfing the steadfast publisher I worked for so comfortably for 17 years at Tatler, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker...
Until now, he was always the media emperor who could live and do as he chose... Let's hope this pitiless economy doesn't force him to cap his noble career by performing a lobotomy.
The closure no doubt has Brown fretting over the $18 million her upstart Web venture the Daily Beast will cost Barry Diller's IAC through fall 2011. No worries, Tina: Diller still has the sort swagger old Si threw off in the early days of Portfolio. Though for good measure, you might to whisper for him your line about a money-losing publication being a mogul's "sexiest calling card." You know how much he loves being fabulous and sexy.