The Weekly Standard — the conservative magazine that has stubbornly cleaved to an anti-Trump stance — is expected to fold unless a white-knight investor swoops in.
The current owner of the 23-year-old publication, Media DC, a subsidiary of Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group, did nothing on Wednesday to tamp down reports of the Weekly Standard’s imminent demise.
“It is no secret that news organizations across the US are dealing with an evolving business landscape,” said a spokeswoman for Clarity Media.
“The Weekly Standard is dealing with these same issues. Clarity Media has been exploring a number of possibilities regarding the future of The Weekly Standard. At this time, Clarity does not have any news to share about its evaluation process.”
The Daily Caller first reported the news of the Standard’s pending demise, citing sources who said they had been told by Editor-in-Chief Stephen Hayes. CNN followed that up with a report saying that Hayes had originally been told he could shop for a potential new owner, but that Clarity backtracked on that and now plans to close the weekly.
Ryan McKibben, CEO of Clarity, reportedly plans to meet with Hayes next week and, according to the report, has requested a meeting with the entire Weekly Standard staff afterward.
The news comes following an announcement earlier this week that the company planned to expand its other Beltway weekly, the more Trump-friendly Washington Examiner, into a national publication aimed at a broader consumer audience.
“With this expansion and relaunch, our aim is for the new, national Washington Examiner to build on its position as a leader in providing a conservative perspective on the events of the day,” said McKibben.
No mention was made of the fate of the Weekly Standard in that announcement earlier this week. The Examiner’s relaunch is less than four weeks away on Jan. 1. Plans call for it to publish 44 issues a year.
At the time, a company spokesman was unable to give any potential circulation projections for the amped-up Examiner, which is barely circulated aside from among DC lawmakers and insiders.
The Weekly Standard was started in 1995 by News Corp., which also owns The Post, with William Kristol as its founder and first editor-in-chief. It was sold to Anschutz’s company in 2005.
Kristol is currently an editor-at-large and was seen as a leader of the “Never Trump” movement during the Republican primaries in 2016.
Neither Hayes nor Kristol returned emails seeking comment.
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