Clarity Media Group, the owner of the publisher of The Weekly Standard, announced this morning that the magazine will shut down and print its last issue on December 17. From the press release:

Clarity Media Group announced today the closure of The Weekly Standard. On December 17, The Weekly Standard will publish its final edition.

“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 was founded under News Corp and published its first issue on September 18, 1995. Clarity Media Group acquired the publication in 2009.

“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,” said McKibben. “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 publication has remained critical of President Donald Trump, which editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes mentioned in his note to employees:

In a note sent to staff Friday morning, Hayes referenced the difficulty conservative news organizations critical of Trump have had in recent years.

“This is a volatile time in American journalism and politics,” Hayes wrote. “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.”

Hayes said it was a “profound honor” to work with The Weekly Standard’s staff, and added, “I’m proud that we’ve remained both conservative and independent, providing substantive reporting and analysis based on facts, logic and reason.”

Here are some tweets from contributing editor John Podhoretz:

Rumors swirled of The Weekly Standard‘s demise the first week of December. Kemberlee blogged about a story from CNN that received information from a source within the publication that the end was near.

The CNN story said The Weekly Standard attempted to find a buyer, but the leadership at the magazine “butt heads” with “MediaDC, the current publisher of the magazine and that the two parties had agreed to allow [editor-in-chief Stephen] Hayes to search for a new owner.”

Another source told The Daily Caller that they didn’t think The Weekly Standard would survive since the magazine didn’t have a budget:

“I don’t expect it to exist after December 14, 2018,” one editor at the magazine told TheDCNF. “There is no budget for it AT ALL.”

News broke Tuesday afternoon from CNN that the magazine’s editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes addressed staff about the magazine’s troubles, but did not go into detail about what the future might hold.

“Supposedly Steve Hayes doesn’t even know [beyond what CNN reported],” the staffer said.

The Weekly Standard was founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes. Originally owned by NewsCorp, the magazine was eventually sold in 2009 to billionaire Philip Anschutz. Individuals close to the magazine told TheDCNF that Anschutz was growing frustrated with the direction of the magazine.

A former employee of The Washington Examiner, which is a member of the same parent company as The Weekly Standard, told TheDCNF the office had been hearing murmurings Monday about the magazine’s fate. That employee told TheDCNF there had been talk that some of The Weekly Standard would be folded into The Washington Examiner.

“They’re either closing or they’re folding into a page of the Washington Examiner,” said the former Examiner employee.

Yet a current editor at The Weekly Standard disputed that possibility.

“I don’t think ‘folded’ is the right word. It sounds more like get rid of us entirely,” the editor said.

A spokesperson for Anschutz did not comment.


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