Updated: Newsweek.com Faces Down Extinction, Will Remain Separate From TDB

Update: Well, it looks as if the effort to keep Newsweek.com alive has worked. In an early afternoon Tweet, Tina Brown says, “Woah! Newsweek.com’s superb content will live on under its own banner & in URLs on the new site. Not shutting down, combining.”

Original post: Once the merger between The Daily Beast and Newsweek is cemented, Newsweek.com will effectively disappear, as users who go to that site will be redirected to TDB’s homepage, the NYT reported last week. In reaction, someone (or “someones”) claiming to work for the Newsweek.com staff has created a new Tumblr page to mount a defense of the website in the hopes of preventing its extinction.

The Tumblr page’s sole post begins by expressing a degree of shock about not being told in the staff meetings held by executives that Newsweek.com existence would be coming to an end. The post also also expresses some bitterness about how the web operation has been treated over the past few years.

“The thing you have to understand about Newsweek is that it would only be fitting that its Website would be the first to go,” the post says, which does not include attribution or byline. “Like most print publications, Newsweek magazine has been led by people who deep down don’t understand the Web, and because they don’t understand it, they fear it and don’t value it.”

The post then questions the rationale given for putting The Daily Beast front and center as the new entity, which is now being called the Newsweek Daily Beast Company. Essentially, the idea is that TheDailyBeast.com, which gets about 2 million monthly uniques, would be able to sbsorb Newsweek.com’s roughly 5 million monthly users.

For one thing, the Tumblr post claims that “at least 60 percent” of Newsweek.com’s uniques come from someplace other than the homepage, finding the site’s stories either through Newsweek’s web partnership with MSNBC (NYSE: GE), or links on MSN, Newsweek’s Twitter feed, its official Tumblr page. “If less than half of Newsweek readers log onto Newsweek.com’s actual homepage, how much traffic will really be gained? Certainly not five million uniques,” the Tumblr post notes.

So far, attempts to contact Newsweek.com’s staff have gone unanswered. While Newsweek’s official Tumblr page doesn’t reference “Save Newsweek.com,” it does offer a tongue-in-cheek contrast between what sort of content lives on The Daily Beast and Newsweek.com (courtesy of CJR). The first item on the list for The Daily Beast is a post about alcoholism on broadcast TV, while Newsweek.com has a more soberly-minded column by Jonathan Alter on “Why The Midterms Matter.”