The Newsweek/Daily Beast merger was expected to be wrapped up by late November or early December but it has been delayed and is not closing until later this month, the New York Post reported Monday.

Vacationing Newsweek owner Sidney Harman said he expects the deal to be finalized in "mid-January."

There was no word from Barry Diller, chairman of the InterActiveCorp/IAC side of the new joint venture, which owns the Daily Beast.

Most observers blame legal and paperwork delays, combined with the usual holiday slowdown rather than any serious snags that could derail the deal reached in early November.

That means Tina Brown, the Daily Beast editor-in-chief and former editor of The New Yorker and the much-hyped failure Talk Magazine, will have longer to wait before she can put her stamp on the newsweekly when she takes over the combined operations.

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