Newsweek’s Owner, Sidney Harman, Dies at 92
Sidney Harman, the founder of Harman Kardon, and more recently the owner of Newsweek, died yesterday at age 92. When he bought Newsweek last year for $1, he said he was going to live forever. Apparently three weeks ago he was diagnosed with leukemia. Soon after he bought Newsweek, he went into negotiations with Barry Diller and Tina Brown to merge operations with The Daily Beast. The talks fell apart but later came back together. The merger became complete a few weeks ago. Did Harman know he had leukemia way back then? Or was he just prescient? And what happens now to Newsweek? The revived magazine had six pages of ads this week. It will now be up to Diller, whose IAC underwrites this whole operation, and Harman’s estate–including his wife, Jane, former Democratic congresswoman from California–to figure out what happens next. Apart from the whole News/Beast thing, Harman Kardon was really an important player in high fidelity. They made great equipment in the era before Sony and Panasonic, up there with Marantz and other great small outfits. For that, Sidney Harman will be missed.