The rumors were everyone around Washington in recent days, but now it’s official: Bill Kristol’s magazine The Weekly Standard will shut down.
The magazine, founded in 1995, will shut down after its final issue is published Monday. “Ryan McKibben the CEO of the magazine’s parent company Clarity Media told staffers in an all-hands meeting on Friday morning,” The Wrap reported.
“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,” he added. “After careful consideration of all possible options for its future, it became clear that this was the step we needed to take.”
Earlier this month, CNN reported that Editor-in-Chief Stephen Hayes had informed his staff that the magazine’s existence is in jeopardy.
Sources told CNN that the leaders of The Weekly Standard had been at odds with its publisher, and that Hayes had been permitted to look for another owner, but that MediaDC had then said it was not interested in selling the magazine. MediaDC also owns The Washington Examiner, which may soon offer its magazine as a weekly publication.
Clarity Media Group, Inc., the parent company of MediaDC, released this statement to CNN:
It is no secret that news organizations across the U.S. are dealing with an evolving business landscape. 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.
Kristol and Fred Barnes co-founded the magazine during the Clinton administration and strongly supported George W. Bush during his presidency. But Kristol was critical of President Trump, writing in September: “We are thinking of and doing preliminary work to prepare for a primary run against Trump. People aren’t going to say they will run against Trump unless they have the infrastructure but I’ve been trying to persuade people that it may not be that difficult.”
Shortly after the November 2018 election, Kristol said, “We’ve started laying the groundwork for the possibility of a serious challenge to President Trump in the 2020 GOP primary,” adding, “President Trump is less dominant than many people think. Polls show it, focus groups show it, and the Republican House seats we lost in suburban districts that we’d held for years show it, too.”