Tina Brown is talk of the town again as she takes TV position

Tina Brown, the British editor whose magazine Talk collapsed last year, is making a comeback as a television talk show host on an American financial news network.

Ms Brown, a popular fixture on New York's social scene, will host a series of four one-hour chat shows on CNBC.

Her programme is sure to come under intense media scrutiny: from revitalising the magazines Tatler and Vanity Fair to her six years editing The New Yorker, her career is legendary. Talk, which she founded in 1999, ran up losses of $55m (£40m).

But she vowed to stay in the city after the collapse of Talk and started writing a column for The Times and Salon.com about her life there.

At the time of the collapse, rumours circulated that she was to join CNN and wanted to host a chat show.According to The New York Times yesterday, she had numerous offers from broadcasters, but chose CNBC because its high-brow audience was more in line with the readership of the magazines she edited.

She also said the CNBC offer for just a few shows was appealing for her first steps in a new medium. "The great thing about it is that it is a limited situation," she said. "That is a really nice way to have a good time evolving an interest in television and deciding whether I feel comfortable doing it."

CNBC has an average prime-time audience of about 250,000. This is small enough for Ms Brown to try her hand without too much pressure, although the station's executives say they expect her to choose guests from her glittering circle of friends.

The series, Topic A with Tina Brown, begins on 20 March. It is likely to start with a show on the Oscar nominees and the state of the film industry. The other three shows would explore topics from culture to business to politics.

Ms Brown will review her contract at the end of the series. But she admitted to enjoying her calmer lifestyle.

"I'm really enjoying my life in a slightly lower gear now," she said.

"For 22 years I've been at the other extreme, racing from one magazine to the next. This is a good mix of things, which is not necessarily 24/7."

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