The Weekly Standard, a conservative opinion magazine turned Never-Trump publication, will shut down, according to a Friday announcement from the publisher’s owner, Clarity Media Group.
Earlier Friday, Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Stephen Hayes sat down with MediaDC chairman Ryan McKibben to discuss the magazine’s fate. Hayes sent a letter to employees notifying them of this morning’s meeting with McKibben, saying he was “not sure what today will bring”
“This is a volatile time in American journalism and politics,” Hayes’ letter to staffers read. “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.”
The magazine will post its final edition on December 17.
“All good things come to an end. And so, after 23 years, does The Weekly Standard,” co-founder Bill Kristol wrote on Twitter. “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!”
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
Earlier December, Hayes told staffers that he was uncertain about the magazine’s future amid sagging readership and a fruitless attempt to find a buyer.
“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 in a statement, obtained by TheWrap. “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,” added McKibben. “After careful consideration of all possible options for its future, it became clear that this was the step we needed to take.”
In a separate statement, Hayes said he was “profoundly disappointed” in the decision to close The Weekly Standard and praised the magazine’s roster of reporters and opinion writers. “For nearly a quarter century, TWS has provided an unapologetically conservative and fiercely independent voice on American culture and public affairs,” Hayes said. “That voice is needed now more than at anytime in our previous 23 years.”
“Many thanks to our founder — Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes and John Podhoretz — for their vision and guidance, to Rupert Murdoch for his support of the magazine for its first 14 years and to Philip Anschutz for back it for the last night,” Hayes continued. “Thanks to our many subscribers and readers, whose enthusiasm allowed TWS to do the important work that we’ve done. And thanks, most especially, to the tremendous group of journalists who made The Weekly Standard the strong voice for thoughtful conservative it has been over the years.”
News of The Weekly Standard’s shuttering comes after its parent company announced that the Washington Examiner – also owned by Clarity Media Group – will relaunch its weekly print magazine with nationwide distribution and larger editorial focus.
Media observers floated a possible merger between the two publications.
The Weekly Standard, a once-influential neoconservative magazine, was co-founded by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes in 1995 and published by Newscorp.
Clarity Media Group acquired The Weekly Standard in 2009.