Widely followed blogger Andrew Sullivan will leave the Daily Beast, just as he left The Atlantic before that. Sullivan plans to start a “for pay site” for which his new firm will charge as much as $19.99 per year. Sullivan said he could have stayed at the Daily Beast. He must have believed the media operation would not pay him as well as a new independent business would.
His move means that the future of the Daily Beast has become cloudier. It has closed the print edition of Newsweek, which will save money, but may do little else. Based on several measures, the Daily Beast audience fell significantly after the national election. Sullivan certainly will take some of his audience with him, whether that number is in the hundreds of thousands, or the low seven figures. The New York Post has reported that the Daily Beast will lose $20 million this year. With Sullivan leaving and the election over, that number could climb, and with it the likelihood the Beast will survive the fall.
Douglas A. McIntyre