Ms Brown is believed to be deep in talks with Newsweek’s new owner, the billionaire Sidney Harman, over combining the two businesses in a joint venture that would marry old and new media under her editorial control.

Rumours of the talks have been bubbling in the industry for several weeks, and The New York Times reported that Ms Brown has gone as far as submitting a memo to Mr Harman setting out how she would run Newsweek.