Newsweek/Daily Beast to be profitable in two or three years

That sounds pretty good — until you consider that, last October, Daily Beast executives were telling The Wall Street Journal that the site was “on a pace to be profitable in two years.” From a P&L standpoint, then, the accomplishment of the past seven months has been to move the profitability goalposts back by a year. Wasn’t the point of merging to get there faster?…

Yes, Newsweek’s newsstand sales and advertising pages are both up. If those trends continue, it’ll bode well for the NewsBeast’s future — but that’s a mighty big if. Meanwhile, the traffic picture isn’t wholly encouraging. Brown says the Daily Beast’s traffic is up 51 percent over the past year. Quantcast shows a 41 percent increase, with 5.3 million people visiting the site in the most recent month. But Newsweek’s monthly audience online has fallen from almost 8 million unique users right before the merger to around 2 million. In other words, the combined audience for the two sites has shrunk by about 1.5 million people since October.