Brown will report to a board of directors that will include Harman and IAC/InterActive (IACI) CEO Barry Diller, who financed the launch of The Daily Beast.
Some early media reports say that each outlet will keep its own identity; others that the new firm will be called Newsweek Daily Beast Co.
The merger may be a marriage of two wounded media operations. Newsweek has lost scads of staff since it was sold by The Post, and it currently has no editor. The Daily Beast has been losing readership. Research firm Compete says the number of unique visitors to the site has dropped from 2.18 million in June to 1.55 million in September -- a fall of nearly 30%. Rival Huffington Post has 12.2 million monthly unique visitors. Newsweek relies heavily on MSNBC.com for online traffic, but it's not certain whether that will continue after the merger.
In short, the two businesses are so troubled that the merger may be a case of 1+1=0.