By Kevin Price, Editor in Chief of US Daily Review.
This morning CNN reported:
“The announcement came after the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Stephen Hayes, met privately with Ryan McKibben, the chief executive and chairman of Clarity Media Group, a media holding company owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz.”
I don’t think being pro-Trump is necessary for being a successful news outlet among conservatives. On the other hand, good luck being anti-Trump if you are a conservative. A reasonable editorial position, and one that will outlast the President, is one based on principles and not personality.
The magazine’s demise is not a surprise to anyone who has monitoring conservative media. For months, the site has been trying to find a new owner, cutting its budget, and simply tying to figure out how to make it another month. The only thing that is surprising is that the magazine only had a week to close shop. Sources indicate that everyone who worked for it have already cleaned their desks.
The Weekly Standard is not the only conservative, anti-Trump media to face the music for its positions. The one time rock star of the right — Glenn Beck
— has seen his empire hemorrhaging since the 2016 Presidential campaign. He and his media relished any and every opportunity to attack Trump. Beck was once making $90 million a year from his TV show, podcasts, websites, and nationally syndicated radio show. He was brining in more than Oprah (at $77 million) annually. Over time it became common to hear of layoffs here and selling of assets there. He had looked for suiters for his media, but I am sure few wanted to touch anything that had been so openly anti-Trump in an environment in which his supporters seem to dominate conservative media.
Meanwhile, those conservative media that were passionately anti-Trump responded to the pressures to change its tune by letting up on him.
It was believed that the only way to save it was to get help from someone squarely in the Trump camp, which led to the merger between The Blaze and CRTV, which is a media platform owned by media personality, Mark Levin. Levin was cautious about the Trump candidacy early on (which was the case of many in conservative media circles that eventually embraced him), but he has since become one of Trump’s most passionate apologists.
The Daily Beast had the following
to say about the merger: “Although the newly formed company is being called Blaze Media, Beck is ‘basically turning over to control to CRTV and his empire is basically ending with a whimper,’ said a former associate of the man who, at the height of his success a decade ago, likened himself to ‘a rodeo clown.'”
The Weekly Standard is not the only conservative, anti-Trump media to face the music for its positions.
The casual observer will conclude the merger left Beck as the strong one in the relationship. After all, if you go to CRTV.com
, one will see it goes to get.blaze.com
and the new entity is called BlazeTV. However, there are no stories of Levin struggling and the dire situation of Beck has been common knowledge for at least a year or so.
There is no doubt that this union will make both media stronger. However, it is doubtful it would have happened if Beck’s media was thriving on its own. The new Blaze Media promises to be a monster. CNBC reports “The Blaze’s website, started
by Beck in 2010, claims
that the newly formed Blaze Media will reach more than 165 million people every month, making it the ‘largest independent, traditionally conservative multiplatform media company’ in the U.S.”
I don’t believe the actual reason these media failed or are changing is because they are anti-Trump, but because, in their own way, they have put personalities before principles. They are behaving in the exact same way as those they oppose.
Meanwhile, those conservative media that were passionately anti-Trump responded to the pressures to change its tune by letting up on him. National Review
, which is one of the most established establishment conservative news magazines, made it clear it was vehemently opposed to the Trump Administration. It even created a massive anti-Trump issue
, that received considerable blowback from conservatives. So much so that the National Review changed its tune to such a point it was described as a “surrender
” by many in the media.
I don’t believe the actual reason these media failed or are changing is because they are anti-Trump, but because, in their own way, they have put personalities before principles. They are behaving in the exact same way as those they oppose. They will say the Trump supporters and the media in that camp, blindly support him, no matter what he does. In the same vein, most of the anti-Trump media blindly oppose him, no matter what he does. For people like me, who are generally anti-Trump, I find “personality media” unbecoming. No matter who it supports or opposes. I personally liked the nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the sweeping tax cuts were way over due if the US wanted to stay competitive internationally, and many of the regulatory reforms he has pursued are giving US businesses a big incentive to stay here. On the other hand, his temperament has made a culture that is more divisive, his criticism of free speech is dangerous, and his tariffs have the potential of throwing the US into a Great Depression. I don’t think being pro-Trump is necessary for being a successful news outlet among conservatives. On the other hand, good luck being anti-Trump if you are a conservative. A reasonable editorial position, and one that will outlast the President, is one based on principles and not personality.
In addition to being Editor in Chief or US Daily Review, Price is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and columnist. He has twice received the prestigious George Washington Honors Medal in Communications for his contributions to journalism.