How can you bring in $600 million in revenue and still not make a profit?
Just be The Washington Post.
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos bought the Post in 2013 for a paltry $250 million. Within three years, Bezos had tripled its web traffic, even as the print edition of the paper shrunk to just a few dozen pages.
The Post went hardcore liberal during former President Donald Trump’s term, but since he left office, readers have been bailing in droves. The “Trump Bump” is over.
The paper has lost 500,000 subscribers since Biden took office in January 2021, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Post had 3 million subscribers in January 2021, but that has dropped to 2.5 million subscribers, sources with knowledge of the company’s finances told The Journal. Digital advertising revenue at the media outlet also fell about $70 million — or roughly 15% — since the first half of 2021, according to reports earlier this year.
Things got even worse this week. The Post decided to kill its Sunday magazine, firing 10 staffers in yet another cost-cutting move.
So Trump was right. In 2017, he said, “Newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there, because, without me, their ratings are going down the tubes.”
Post media reporter Paul Farhi confirmed Trump’s prediction in a March 2021 piece. “Barely two months into the post-Trump era, news outlets are indeed losing much of the audience and readership they gained during his chaotic presidency. In other words, journalism’s Trump bump may be giving way to a slump,” he wrote.
“The Post, for example, saw the number of unique visitors fall 26 percent from January to February, and 7 percent from a year ago. The New York Times lost 17 percent compared with January and 16 percent over last February,” Farhi wrote.
Other major news operations are also shrinking because of the sagging economy and the loss of the headline-grabbing Trump. CNN, BuzzFeed, Gannett, Vice News, and Vox Media have all made layoffs this year.
“The current economic conditions are impacting companies like ours in multiple ways, with supply chain issues reducing marketing and advertising budgets across industries and economic pressures changing the ways that consumers spend,” Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff wrote in a memo to staff, according to Axios.
“Our aim is to get ahead of greater uncertainty by making difficult but important decisions to pare back on initiatives that are lower priority or have lower staffing needs in the current climate,” he said.
On Wednesday, Post publisher Fred Ryan announced during a staff meeting that the company will continue with layoffs in 2023/
The announcement came just days before Christmas. Videos posted on social media platforms show Ryan refusing to take questions from staffers, and stepping off the stage to avoid inquiries from angry employees.
— Annie Gowen (@anniegowen) December 14, 2022
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.