Never-Trump conservatives may need to find a new place to get their news.
The right-leaning Weekly Standard, a magazine that refused to embrace Donald Trump’s form of no-holds-barred politics, is reportedly on the ropes as its parent company considers shutting it down. As Vox reported, the magazine is still doing well in terms of subscripts and advertising revenue, but is being put on the chopping block by parent company MediaDC.
The company also owns the newspaper Washington Examiner, and reportedly wants to “strip mine” the Weekly Standard for its assets, especially its subscriber lists. As Vox noted, the Weekly Standard‘s decision not to embrace Donald Trump has been seen as a “losing bet” in a conservative movement that still has sky-high approval for the president. The Washington Examiner has not taken a strong stance on Trump, though has more frequently offered favorable coverage, but the parent company could be looking to grow that and reportedly has plans to greatly expand it.
But even Trump-supporting media outlets have seen more difficult times, showing the fickle nature of the conservative news realm. As Politico noted earlier this year, Breitbart saw its total traffic decline for seven consecutive months after the departure of founder and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon. Critics seized on the decline, noting that the once-powerful site that reached record readership levels during and immediately after the 2016 presidential campaign appeared to be losing its luster.
— McKay Coppins (@mckaycoppins) December 4, 2018
“I never hear about them, anymore,” conservative commentator Matt Lewis told Politico. “Nor do I have a sense that they drive the debate or the discussion — or that anyone is worried about them writing something negative about them.”
The report added that the decline appeared to take the wind out of the sails for Breitbart, which once aspired to be much more than simply a news site.
“With its falling traffic numbers, but lingering grass-roots support, Breitbart seems to be transforming from a site that had designs on conquering American politics to one that is increasingly focused on maintaining its conservative base.”
Bill Kristol, a co-founder of the Weekly Standard, has not spoken about the reports of its potential demise, but staffers told Vox that the parent company has “worked to sabotage TWS every step of the way” and will be used to support the expansion of the Washington Examiner.
The report noted that the Weekly Standard could be shuttered as soon as next week.