The Daily Beast put its scoop-driven media newsletter Confider on hiatus on Monday just weeks after editor at large Lachlan Cartwright — who steered the newsletter — departed the outlet. But two sources with knowledge of the situation say hiatus is too gentle a word and said the newsletter could instead be “dead.”
“We decided to put Confider on hiatus after Lachlan Cartwright, who initiated it, departed The Daily Beast,” editor in chief Tracy Connor said in a statement to TheWrap. “The Daily Beast team will continue to produce exclusive coverage of media, which will appear on-site instead of in the newsletter.”
On Monday, above Confider’s first story and underneath a massive picture of Jimmy Finkelstein, the owner of now-defunct outlet The Messenger, the newsletter read in small text that “Confider is going on hiatus after today’s issue.”
The loss of Confider will be a blow to The Daily Beast. Cartwright started Confider nearly two years ago with help from The Daily Beast media team including editor Andrew Kirell, and reporters Justin Baragona, and Corbin Bolies. It quickly became a must-read for media news obsessives. The newsletter consistently broke forward-looking scoops and was insidery and well-sourced, often influencing other outlets’ reporting on the industry.
The Daily Beast’s parent company IAC, the holding company founded by tech billionaire Barry Diller, was looking to unload the publication to a new owner last year, The New York Times reported. However, sale talks halted six months after they started.
Cartwright’s final newsletter was Jan. 22 and Confider has been publishing regular issues since, with contributors Andrew Kirell, Justin Baragona, and Corbin Bolies steering the ship.
“This is my last edition, but the rest of the gang will be back next week,” Cartwright wrote in January. However, Confider only lasted for three more editions before announcing a hiatus.
Cartwright had long history of delivering media scoops for the Beast when he departed in late January to join The Hollywood Reporter. When Cartwright’s move to THR was announced he set forth plans to “create a new agenda setting newsletter,” which Confider, if still publishing would have to directly compete with.
According to one individual with knowledge of the situation: “There is a high aggregate demand for scoop-driven media reporting, like Cartwright produced, however the Beast didn’t even try to replace him. Instead, they’re just giving up.”
The Daily Beast management has not yet begun the hiring process to fill the position.
“Management loves to use coded language — i.e. hiatus — but they should just say it plainly: Confider is dead,” the individual said. “It doesn’t deserve to suffer a drawn-out death.”
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