The Daily Beast

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The Daily Beast
The Daily Beast's logo consists of the words "The Daily Beast" in white text on a red square.
Type of site
Available inEnglish
United States
OwnerThe Daily Beast Company LLC
Created byTina Brown
EditorTracy Connor[1]
LaunchedOctober 6, 2008; 14 years ago (2008-10-06)
Current statusActive

The Daily Beast is an American news website focused on politics, media, and pop culture. It was founded in 2008.

It has been characterized as a "high-end tabloid" by Noah Shachtman, the site's editor-in-chief from 2018 to 2021.[2] In a 2015 interview, former editor-in-chief John Avlon described the Beast's editorial approach: "We seek out scoops, scandals, and stories about secret worlds; we love confronting bullies, bigots, and hypocrites."[3] In 2018, Avlon described the Beast's "strike zone" as "politics, pop culture, and power".[4]


The Daily Beast began publishing on October 6, 2008. Its founding editor was Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker as well as the short-lived Talk magazine. The name of the site was taken from a fictional newspaper in Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop.[5]

In 2010, The Daily Beast merged with the magazine Newsweek creating a combined company, The Newsweek Daily Beast Company. The merger ended in 2013, when Daily Beast owner IAC sold Newsweek to IBT Media, owner of the International Business Times.[6] Brown stepped down as editor in September 2013.[7]

John Avlon, an American journalist and political commentator as well as a CNN contributor, was the site's editor-in-chief and managing director from 2013 to 2018.[8][9][10]

In September 2014, The Daily Beast reached a new record of 21 million unique visitors – a 60% year-over-year increase in readers, accompanied by a 300% increase in the overall size of its social media community.[11]

In May 2018 Avlon departed from the Beast to become full-time Senior Political Analyst and anchor at CNN. Avlon was succeeded by executive editor Noah Shachtman.[12]

In March 2017 former chief strategy and product officer Mike Dyer left for Intel.[13] In May 2017, Heather Dietrick was appointed president and publisher.[14]

In July 2021, Shachtman announced that he'd be moving from the Beast to Rolling Stone and that he will be succeeded by Tracy Connor.[15]

Editorial stance

In an April 2018 interview, Avlon described the publication's political stance as "non-partisan but not neutral": "what that means is we're going to hit both sides where appropriate, but we're not going for mythic moral equivalence on every issue."[16] In April 2017, Avlon discussed the organization's approach on the Poynter Institute's podcast saying, "We're not going to toe any partisan line."[17] In December 2017, NPR reported that The Daily Beast's editor-in-chief John Avlon had begun pairing reporters from both the right and left sides of the political spectrum to cover White House stories. Specifically, reporters Asawin Suebsaeng (formerly of Mother Jones) and Lachlan Markay (formerly of The Heritage Foundation) were tasked with covering the Trump Administration.[18]

The Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple stated in 2018 that "Pound for pound, [The Daily Beast] is an impressive operation. As I see it, they do a few things well: They bang the phones, they don't always follow the same story everyone else is doing, and they are fast."[19]

Later in 2018, editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman characterized The Daily Beast as a "high-end tabloid" that embraces gonzo journalism.[2]

According to Shachtman, The Daily Beast's social media policy for journalists consists (as of 2018) of three main rules: "you're reporters, not cheerleaders" so don't be an open partisan; avoid hate speech and posts that could offend a group; and "don't get your fellow reporters in trouble".[2]


A feature of The Daily Beast is the Cheat Sheet, billed as "must reads from all over". Published throughout the day, the Cheat Sheet offers a selection of articles from online news outlets on popular stories. The Cheat Sheet includes brief summaries of the article, and a link to read the full text of the article on the website of its provider. It is found at[20]

After the launch, the site introduced additional sections, including a video Cheat Sheet and Book Beast.[21] The site frequently creates encyclopedic landing pages on topical subjects such as President Obama's inauguration, the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, and the Iran uprising.[22] In 2014, The Daily Beast became the majority on mobile and released an iOS app, which Nieman Lab described as "the dawn of the quantified news reader".[23]

The illustrational style used at the top of every article has been described as, "jaunty collage and pop-art illustrations".[24]


Contributors to the publication include notable writers and political activists such as:

In May 2017, Pulitzer Prize–winning national security reporter Spencer Ackerman left The Guardian and joined The Daily Beast.[26][27][28][29]

In June 2017, HuffPost senior political editor Sam Stein announced he was joining The Daily Beast in the same capacity.[30]


In early June 2014, Capital New York re-published a memo by outgoing CEO Rhona Murphy, stating that The Daily Beast's average unique monthly visitors increased from 13.5 million in 2013 to more than 17 million in 2014.[31] By September 2014, the website reached a new record of 21 million unique visitors; it was a 60% year-over-year increase in readers, accompanied by a 300% increase in the overall size of its social media community.[32]

In 2015, Ken Doctor, a news analyst for Nieman Lab, reported that The Daily Beast is "one of the fastest-growing news and information sites year-over-year in the 'General News' category".[33]

During Avlon's leadership from 2013 to 2018, The Daily Beast doubled its traffic to 1.1 million readers a day and won over 17 awards for journalistic excellence.[34][35]


The Daily Beast won a Webby Award for "Best News Site" in 2012 and 2013.[36] Also in 2012 John Avlon won National Society of Newspaper Columnists' award for best online column in 2012 for The Daily Beast.[37]

In March 2012, "Book Beast" won a National Magazine Award for Website Department, which "honors a department, channel or microsite".[38]

Anna Nemstova received the Courage in Journalism Award in 2015 from the International Women's Media Foundation.[39] Also that year, Michael Daly won with the National Society of Newspaper Columnists award in the category of Online, Blog, Multimedia – Over 100,000 Unique Visitors.[40]

In 2016, the Los Angeles Press Club nominated several of The Beast's writers including M. L. Nestel for Arts/Entertainment Investigative, Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins for best Celebrity Investigative, Malcolm Jones for best Obituary, Lizzie Crocker for Humor and Tim Teeman for Industry/ArtsHard News. Also nominated for best in field were Kevin Fallon for Industry/Arts Soft News and Melissa Leon for Industry/Arts Soft News.[41]

The Association of LGBTQ Journalists or NLGJA nominated both Tim Teeman 2016 Journalist of the Year and Heather Boerner Excellence in HIV/AIDS Coverage.[42] In 2017, NLGJA awarded Jay Michaelson for his coverage of GOP anti-LGBT legislation and Tim Teeman for reporting on ALS.[43]

In 2017, the website won three New York Press Club Journalism Awards in the internet publishing categories of Entertainment News, Crime Reporting and Travel Reporting.[44] In December, the Los Angeles Press Club's National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards announced the platform had won 4 awards for 2017 reporting including investigative articles about the Nate Parker rape case, comic Bob Smith's struggle with ALS, and remembering Bill Paxton.[45]

In 2018, the trade magazine Digiday awarded the Beast's Cheat Sheet for best email newsletter.[46]

Beast Books

In September 2009, The Daily Beast launched a publishing initiative entitled "Beast Books" that will produce books by Beast writers on an accelerated publishing schedule.[47] The first book published by Beast Books was John Avlon's Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.[48]

In January 2011, they published Stephen L. Carter's The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama.[49] Also in 2011, Beast Books published Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee's memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers.[50][51]



In February 2010, Jack Shafer of Slate magazine reported that the chief investigative reporter for The Daily Beast, Gerald Posner, had plagiarised five sentences from an article published by the Miami Herald. Shafer also discovered that Posner had plagiarized content from a Miami Herald blog, a Miami Herald editorial, Texas Lawyer magazine and a health care journalism blog.[52][53] Posner was subsequently dismissed from The Daily Beast following an internal review.[54]

Nico Hines' 2016 Olympics article

On August 11, 2016, The Daily Beast published an article entitled "I Got Three Grindr Dates in an Hour in the Olympic Village", written by Nico Hines, the site's London editor, who was assigned to cover the Olympic Games.[55][56] Hines, a heterosexual married man, signed up for several gay and straight dating apps, including Tinder, Bumble and Grindr, and documented his experiences in the Olympic Village. While not specifically naming names, Hines provided enough detail in the article to identify individual athletes, leading to widespread criticism that this information could be used against closeted gay athletes, especially those living in repressive countries.[57] Facing intense backlash online,[58][59][60][61] The Daily Beast edited the piece to remove details that could allow athletes to be identified, and editor in chief John Avlon added a lengthy editor's note. Criticism challenging the value of the piece continued,[62] and The Daily Beast eventually removed the article altogether and issued an apology.[63] In March 2017, Hines issued a formal apology for his actions, and it was announced by the website's editor Hines would be returning to The Daily Beast "following a lengthy period of intense reflection".[56][64]

Andrew M. Seaman, ethics committee chair for the Society of Professional Journalists, called the article "journalistic trash, unethical and dangerous".[65] The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association stated "The reporting was unethical, extremely careless of individual privacy and potentially dangerous to the athletes".[66] Vince Gonzales, professor of professional practice at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism wrote "I think this borders on journalistic malpractice".[66] The president of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, wrote "How this reporter thought it was OK—or that somehow it was in the public's interest—to write about his deceitful encounters with these men reflects a complete lack of judgment and disregard for basic decency, not to mention the ethics of journalism".[66]

Doxing accusation

In June 2019, The Daily Beast reporter Kevin Poulsen was accused of doxing Shawn Brooks, a 34-year-old Trump supporter living in the Bronx, when Poulsen revealed his identity for being the alleged creator and disseminator of a widely shared fake video, which showed American politician Nancy Pelosi speaking in a slurred manner.[67][68][69] The fake video had been shared over 60,000 times on Facebook and had more than 4 million views, and also spread to Twitter and YouTube.[70][68]

In response, Brooks denied creating the fake video, despite admitting to being one of the administrators of the group that originally posted the video, Politics WatchDog, and blamed a "female admin" of the group.[67][69][70] Brooks also said that he would sue The Daily Beast and Poulsen for publishing "inaccurate trash", and created a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal costs, with a goal of raising $10,000.[69][70] As of the morning of June 3, 2019, he had raised more than $4,400.[69]


The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald criticized The Daily Beast for revealing Brooks' identity, saying on Twitter that it was "repellent to unleash the resources of a major news outlet on an obscure, anonymous, powerless, quasi-unemployed citizen for the crime of trivially mocking the most powerful political leaders".[68][69] HuffPost and New York contributor Yashar Ali also criticized The Daily Beast for revealing Brooks' identity, saying it "sets a really bad precedent when a private citizen has their identity publicly revealed simply because they made a video of a politician appearing to be drunk".[67][68] The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said on Laura Ingraham's The Ingraham Angle on June 3 that "My impression was that if you are posting anonymously on Facebook, then it's not really within Facebook's purview to start handing that information to media outlets, but I guess that isn't true".[71]

Other journalists who criticized The Daily Beast include freelance journalist and former The Young Turks journalist Michael Tracey, who said on Twitter that "No one on the planet ever thought "disinformation is the purview of Russia alone" other than self-aggrandizing, sleazy, click-chasing Daily Beast journalists", and media editor for TheWrap Jon Levine, who called the article a "hit job over a joke video that happened to go viral".[68][69]

When The Daily Beast editor Noah Shachtman was asked about these criticisms by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter on his Reliable Sources show on June 2, 2019, Shachtman defended the article, noting that the fake video had reached "the highest levels of power, with Rudy Giuliani himself tweeting it out" and therefore, according to Shachtman, it was worth identifying the creator of the fake video.[68] Shachtman said Poulsen spoke with Brooks in an on-the-record interview for an hour.[68]

Description of Israel Defense Forces

In August 2021, The Daily Beast published an article criticizing Mayim Bialik's appointment as the new host of Jeopardy!, which described the Israel Defense Forces as "genocidal"; after human rights lawyers and members of the Jewish community objected, The Daily Beast removed the word and stated that it would review its editorial policy on the use of the term "genocide".[72][73][74][75]

Griffith v. The Daily Beast et al (2020)

In January 2019, The Daily Beast staff writer Maxwell Tani published an article entitled "Gawker 2.0 Implodes as Its Only Reporters Quit," alleging the site's "editorial director Carson Griffith's offensive remarks about everything from race to penis size" caused the implosion. On February 27, 2020, journalist Carson Griffith announced she was suing The Daily Beast, Tani and Noah Shachtman over a "defamatory and untruthful" article that contains allegations of offensive workplace comments from her former co-workers and former Gawker writers Maya Kosoff and Anna Breslaw.[76] On March 24, 2021, a New York Supreme Court judge denied a motion by The Daily Beast, Shachtman and Tani to dismiss Griffith's defamation lawsuit. "This Court finds that Plaintiff has sufficiently pled a cause of action for defamation," Justice Phillip Hom wrote in the ruling. [77] On August 9, 2022, a New York Supreme Court judge denied another motion by The Daily Beast, Shachtman and Tani pursuant of New York's anti-SLAPP amendment. The lawsuit will now advance towards discovery.[78]


  1. ^ Robertson, Katie (August 18, 2021). "The Daily Beast selects Tracy Connor as its top editor". The New York Times.
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  13. ^ Gold, Hadas (March 3, 2017). "Daily Beast president leaving to join Intel". Retrieved June 7, 2017. Daily Beast president and publisher Mike Dyer is leaving the company for a new position at technology firm Intel, he announced to staff on Friday.
  14. ^ "The Daily Beast appoints Heather Dietrick as president and publisher". IAC. May 18, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2017. Today, The Daily Beast announced the appointment of Heather Dietrick as President and Publisher, where she will oversee all company operations with an emphasis on growing The Daily Beast's journalistic influence and building out new revenue streams.
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  17. ^ Mullin, Benjamin (April 24, 2017). "Why The Daily Beast doesn't publish Trump stories on Sunday mornings". Poynter Institute. Retrieved July 8, 2017. Our commitment is to be non-partisan but not neutral ... We're going to hit both sides where appropriate. We're not going to toe any partisan line. We're going to have a range of columnists, from liberal to libertarian. But we're also not going to pretend there's a mythic moral equivalence between candidates or on any given issue. For me, the key quote for our times is actually an older quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said that everyone's entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
  18. ^ C-Span (13 February 2020). Politics and Prose Bookstore, Union Market, Washington, D.C., Hosting organization. Series: BookTV. Book interview by Molly Ball, National Correspondent Time Magazine, of Daily Beast reporters Lachlan Markay & Asawin Suebsaeng's Sinking in the Swamp. C-Span website Retrieved 26 February 2020.
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  20. ^ "Cheat Sheet - The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast Company LLC. April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
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  22. ^ "U.S. Open". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
  23. ^ The Newsonomics of the Newly Quantified, Gamified News Reader Nieman Lab 4 December 2014
  24. ^ McLaughlin, Aidan (April 24, 2018). "The Daily Beast is Buzzing With Solid Scoops and An Editor Who Knows How to Spread The Word". Mediaite. Retrieved May 9, 2018. Those sensibilities are carried over to the Beast's signature illustration style, the work of director of photography Sarah Rogers, with its jaunty collage and pop-art illustrations—often animated—topping every article.
  25. ^ Media Research, Cision (July 22, 2016). "The Daily Beast Adds Drink + Food Vertical". Cision. Retrieved September 28, 2017. Rounding out the staff is Mimi Sheraton, another columnist covering food, travel and restaurants.
  26. ^ "Spencer Ackerman Profile". The Guardian. Retrieved June 26, 2017. Spencer Ackerman was the national security editor for Guardian US. Ackerman was part of the Guardian team that won the 2014 Pulitzer prize for public service journalism. A former senior writer for Wired, he won the 2012 National Magazine Award for digital reporting.
  27. ^ Pilkington, Ed (April 14, 2014). "Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations". The Guardian. Retrieved June 26, 2017. Others on the team of journalists included Spencer Ackerman, James Ball, David Blishen, Gabriel Dance, Julian Borger, Nick Davies, David Leigh and Dominic Rushe. In Australia the editor was Katharine Viner and the reporter Lenore Taylor.
  28. ^ Research, Cision Media (May 10, 2017). "Daily Beast Nabs Spencer Ackerman". Cision Media. Retrieved June 1, 2017. After several years as U.S. national security editor at The Guardian, Spencer Ackerman will join The Daily Beast as senior national security correspondent.
  29. ^ Pompeo, Joe (May 9, 2017). "Now we know who Spencer Ackerman left The Guardian for". Politico. Retrieved June 1, 2017. The Daily Beast as a senior national security correspondent, 'covering homeland security, counterterrorism, intel and more... and reuniting with his former colleague Noah Shachtman, who's now the Beast's exec editor,' CNN's Brian Stelter reported last night
  30. ^ Wemple, Erik (June 19, 2017). "HuffPost's Sam Stein leaving for the Daily Beast". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 26, 2017. Days after HuffPost announced a round of layoffs, one of its longtime voices is making a leap of his own accord: Sam Stein, the site's senior politics editor, was joining The Daily Beast in a similar capacity. He joins a 10-strong D.C. bureau at The Daily Beast, a site that has made a series of big-name hires in recent weeks, including luring former Guardian reporter Spencer Ackerman and former Gawker Media president Heather Dietrick.
  31. ^ Pompeo, Joe (June 4, 2014). "Leadership changes at The Daily Beast". Capital. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  32. ^ Gold, Hadas (October 1, 2015). "One year after Tina Brown exit, Daily Beast traffic surges". Politico. Retrieved June 7, 2017. In a memo to staff on Wednesday, Editor-in-Chief John Avlon said internal numbers on all platforms showed 21.3 million unique visitors in September, a 60 percent increase in traffic compared to the same month last year. ComScore data for September, which is often lower than internal numbers, is not yet available. "This year alone, we've grown our audience more than 30%, our social media community is up 300%, and our Facebook audience has grown from 320,000 to 1.7 million since last summer. Over the course of 2014, our advertising deal size has increased 30%, with our largest campaigns ever secured in the past quarter.
  33. ^ Doctor, Ken (February 10, 2015). "What are they thinking? The Daily Beast's Mike Dyer, against wishful thinking". Politico. Politico LLC. Retrieved July 7, 2017. This is what we know from data: It’s one of the fastest-growing news and information sites year-over-year in the 'General News' category. With a Comscore growth rate of 52 percent year-over-year, as compared to 31 percent for the top 25 news sites overall, The Daily Beast drives more than 12 million unique visitors a month, surpassing some notable legacy magazines. Its story, though, is more intriguing as we look at three factors underpinning its growth: mobile, millennials and content marketing. Those words now seem commonplace; it’s the particular way The Daily Beast arranges the Legos that distinguishes it.
  34. ^ "John Avlon Joins CNN Full Time as Senior Political Analyst, with Regular Daily Presence on New Day". CNN Press Room. May 24, 2018. Retrieved June 3, 2018. Most recently, Avlon was Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast since 2013, succeeding the site's founder Tina Brown. Under his leadership, The Daily Beast more than doubled its traffic to 1.1 million readers a day, with the highest engagement of any digital first news site while winning 17 awards for journalistic excellence. He first joined The Daily Beast as a columnist one month after its launch, in November of 2008, and rose through the ranks as political editor, executive editor and managing director.
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  36. ^ McAthy, Rachel (April 30, 2013). "HuffPost Live and NY Times among Webby Award winners". Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  37. ^ "Column Contest Winners, Going Way Back". National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  38. ^ "National Magazine Awards For Digital Media 2012 Winners Announced". The Association of Magazine Media. March 20, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2017. Website Department Honors a department, channel or microsite The Daily Beast, Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief Newsweek and The Daily Beast, For 'Book Beast'
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  40. ^ "2015 Column Finalists". National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Retrieved February 9, 2017.
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  42. ^ "NLGJA Announces 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners and Honorees". Retrieved February 9, 2017.
  43. ^ "PRESS RELEASE: NLGJA Announces 2017 Excellence in Journalism Award Winners and Honorees". Association of LGBTQ Journalists. August 7, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  44. ^ "The International Consortium Of Investigative Journalists Wins Gold Keyboard In 2017 New York Press Club Journalism Awards" (PDF). The New York Press Club, Inc. May 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2017. Crime Reporting – Internet 'The Pickup Artisits' Brandy Zadrozny, The Daily Beast, Entertainment News – Internet 'Rose Styron: The Truth About Life with Her Husband, Literary Legend William Styron', Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, Travel Writing – Internet, 'Penitents, Pedophiles, Poets, Movie Stars, Silversmiths, and Drug Lords', Phoebe Eaton, The Daily Beast
  45. ^ "LA Press Club Awards 2017". LA Press Club. December 10, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2017. JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR—Any Platform – 3rd Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, BEST CRITIC (print, broadcast or online) – 3rd Ira Madison III, The Daily Beast, BEST CRITIC (Theater) – 2nd Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, Celebrity Investigative – Kate Briquelet and ML Nestel, The Daily Beast, 'Inside the Nate Parker Rape Case'
  46. ^ Bottger, Caroline (March 29, 2018). "Dotdash wins Publisher of the Year at the Digiday Publishing Awards". Digiday. Retrieved May 9, 2018. Best Email Newsletter, The Daily Beast – Cheat Sheet
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  49. ^ Traub, James (January 28, 2011). "The War Presidents". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  50. ^ "Leymah Gbowee Wins Nobel Peace Prize". The Daily Beast. October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2017. Liberian peace activist and Daily Beast contributor Leymah Gbowee was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for her 'non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.'
  51. ^ "Tina Brown's Must-Reads: The Women Of The World". Morning Edition. NPR. September 13, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2017. First up is Liberian activist and Daily Beast columnist Leymah Gbowee's new memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers (published by the Daily Beast's Beast Books imprint), in which the author tells the story of how her small-neighborhood upbringing in Monrovia was torn apart by civil war in 1989.
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  72. ^ "After writer calls IDF genocidal, Daily Beast to check editorial standard". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved August 17, 2021.
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