The Weekly Standard, a conservative news outlet known for being unabashedly critical of President Donald Trump, announced Friday it is closing its doors after over two decades.
Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes tweeted: “I am profoundly disappointed in the decision to close The Weekly Standard. For nearly a quarter century TWS has provided an unapologetically conservative and fiercely independent voice on American culture and public affairs. The voice is needed now more than at anytime in our previous 23 years.”
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) December 14, 2018
Hayes wrote in a message to employees obtained by CNN, “This is a volatile time in American journalism and politics.”
“Many media outlets have responded to the challenges of the moment by prioritizing affirmation over information, giving into the pull of polarization and the lure of clickbait,” he continued. “I’m proud that we’ve remained both conservative and independent, providing substantive reporting and analysis based on facts, logic and reason.”
Co-founder and editor-at-large Bill Kristol added: “All good things come to an end. And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard. … We worked hard to put out a quality magazine, and we had a good time doing so.”
All good things come to an end. And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard. I want to express my gratitude to our readers and my admiration for my colleagues. We worked hard to put out a quality magazine, and we had a good time doing so. And we have much more to do. Onward!
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 14, 2018
Politico noted that Kristol, a regular guest commentator on MSNBC, became one of the more prominent faces in the “Never Trump” ranks during the 2016 Republican primary.
He was among those adding his name to National Review’s list of conservatives against then-candidate Trump.
Kristol’s animus carried over into the Trump administration, as exemplified by an October 2017 Twitter battle with Fox News political analyst Brit Hume.
Hume described Kristol’s thread of tweets as the “never-Trump creed in full rhetorical flight.”
The thread that begins with this tweet is the never -Trump creed in full rhetorical flight. https://t.co/gp5qjv5ysX
— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 29, 2017
In his tweets, the editor charged that conservatives were standing on the sidelines as Trump destroyed the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.
CNN reported, based on “people familiar with the matter,” that the leadership of The Weekly Standard had butted heads with MediaDC, the publisher of the magazine, which is owned by Clarity Media Group.
Hayes and Kristol reportedly asked for the opportunity to seek out new investors for the news outlet, but Clarity ultimately decided to close it down instead.
The company, which also owns the Washington Examiner, is said to have wanted to retain The Weekly Standard’s subscriber list to support the launch of a new Examiner weekly magazine.
Clarity released a statement on Friday announcing The Weekly Standard’s last issue will be on Monday.
“For more than twenty years The Weekly Standard has provided a valued and important perspective on political, literary and cultural issues of the day,” said Ryan McKibben, president and CEO of Clarity Media. “The magazine has been home to some of the industry’s most dedicated and talented staff and I thank them for their hard work and contributions, not just to the publication, but the field of journalism.”
“The Weekly Standard has been hampered by many of the same challenges that countless other magazines and newspapers across the country have been wrestling with,” McKibben said. “Despite investing significant resources into the publication, the financial performance of the publication over the last five years — with double-digit declines in its subscriber base all but one year since 2013 — made it clear that a decision had to be made.
“After careful consideration of all possible options for its future, it became clear that this was the step we needed to take.”
The New York Times reported that Hayes and Kristol are hoping to launch a publication similar to The Weekly Standard under a new banner.
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