Andrew Sullivan: The latest pick for Tina Brown's Daily Beast
After hiring well-known print names (including Howard Kurtz and Robin Givhan from The Washington Post), Tina Brown has lured away one of the biggest names in the online media world from the Atlantic: Andrew Sullivan.
One of the earliest adopters of a blogging column, Sullivan created a rich destination online at his Daily Dish. Brown, in her announcement about Sullivan's hiring, said the site gets "1.2 million unique visitors a month, 82 percent of them bookmarked."
In 2001, his soon-to-be colleague Kurtz wrote in The Post about Sullivan:
A pugnacious writer with a superhero's capacity for multiple identities, Sullivan is a brainy Brit immersed in lowbrow American culture. A caustic conservative in the liberal magazine universe. A proud gay man who demands the attention of the straight world. A 30-pill-a-day HIV patient in a society that celebrates sinewy health.
With a college debater's tenacity and a showman's flair, the Adams Morgan resident has a grand old time surprising and infuriating his friends, his enemies and, for added spice, his employers. It turns out there are second acts in American life, even for those who weren't born here.
Sullivan found his second act online after a five-year stint as editor of the New Republic ended in turmoil. His style on the Web became freewheeling and very, very popular. In part, his success comes from his willingness to engage with readers. He often posts readers' emails, argues with them and changes his mind if convinced he is wrong. He covers topics as wide-ranging as the harsh interrogation tactics during the Iraq war and photographs of the views from his readers' windows. He also regularly engages in opinionated debate; his contentious writing has brought him fans and enemies alike.
His work with the Daily Beast will start April 4, furthering the speculation that the newly merged Daily Beast and Newsweek site will launch within the next two months.
| February 28, 2011; 12:01 PM ET
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