The operator of the erstwhile news magazine Newsweek, which became a digital-only publication last year after 80 years in print, officially became “NewsBeast” on Friday.
News_Beast, as it was rendered at the announcement, is the just the name of the company that operates Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Mental images of a Godzilla-like creature named “NewsBeast” rampaging up-and-down the Hudson in search of scoops are, therefore, entirely unwarranted.
As odd as the name is, it’s probably a little-known fact among readers of The Daily Beast that name of the site was purloined by Tina Brown from Evelyn Waugh’s 1938 novel Scoop, which is based on Waugh’s own experience working for the Daily Mail.
It features one William Boot, a mild-mannered contributor of nature notes to Lord Copper’s Daily Beast, a fictional British national newspaper. Young Boot is pressed into becoming a foreign correspondent when the editors mistake him for a novelist with the same name and is dispatched to cover a civil war in the equally-fictional African state of Ishmaelia.
There, despite his total ineptitude, he accidentally manages to get the “scoop” of the title. Well worth a read.
Personally, I think Ishmaelia would make a much more fitting name for the company than NewsBeast. Tina Brown missed that one.
Further reading: NewBeast and other merger name options.