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Newsweek.com staff takes to Tumblr to save site

By Melissa Bell
Newsweek Daily Beast
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

News broke Friday that the weekly news magazine recently sold by The Washington Post and the online news site headed by Tina Brown would merge into one company. As The Post's Paul Farhi wrote, it could give "the ailing newsmagazine some new-media energy and the fledgling Web site a modicum of old-media credibility."

However, one part of the announcement came as a surprise: Newsweek.com, with 3.9 million unique visitors in September, would be incorporated into the Daily Beast's Web site, which only received around 1.55 million unique visitors during the same time, according to industry tracker Compete.com.

One group greeted this news with particular anger: the staff of Newsweek.com. Anonymous staffers took to the micro-blogging site Tumblr to criticize the move. Titled "Save Newsweek.com," the post is one part bitter, two parts impassioned plea.

Rather than going out and celebrating our merger after six months of uncertainty -- and hopefully some stability after a year that saw four Newsweek.com editors-in-chief come and go -- we're spending our weekend bombarded by a flurry of emails, wondering how this could have happened.

It notes that the site has won a number of awards, including an Emmy nomination in 2008, despite its reduced staff and a tumultuous four years, during which time they had seven different editors.

The malaise leaked onto the Newsweek's official Tumblr blog with the posts almost exclusively dedicated to the merger and the defense of Newsweek.com.

The protest seems to have worked, at least in part. Tina Brown took to the other micro-blogging site, Twitter, to calm the fears:

Woah! Newsweek.com's superb content will live on under its own banner & in URLs on the new site. Not shutting down, combining.less than a minute ago via CoTweet

Mashable.com notes that its odd the magazine chose Tumblr to house its protest, meaning it is "likely not as viral as a Facebook Page would have been." However, Newsweek's Tumblr site has long been considered the best media Tumblr site out there. So much so, Tumblr hired its author, Mark Coatney, to work for them.

By Melissa Bell  | November 16, 2010; 9:33 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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