Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal interview with new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman revealed some interesting nuggets of insight into the nonagenarian stereo tycoon’s plans for the magazine. Chief among them: His wife, congresswoman Jane Harman, isn’t in line to run things at the troubled weekly.
From the WSJ:
As for succession, Mr. Harman said he doesn’t yet have a plan but that contrary to speculation, his wife, Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), won’t be involved in the magazine before or after his death.
Also, on looking at the bookkeeping Harman reacted to Newsweek‘s financial situation with amazement at how bad things are.
WSJ: What did you think when you took your first look at Newsweek’s financials?
Mr. Harman: How about “Good God”? Pretty tough stuff. And not just tough in terms of the balance sheet. But the direction, the implications of it. It’d be silly to suggest that this is a walk in the park. It’s a serious challenge.
Harman also said it’s “critically important” that Newsweek fill its stable with young and hungry writers, and that he wants an editor that understands the magazine is a business and not just an art project that’s divorced from the realities of the market.