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Politics : A Real American President: Donald Trump

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The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine critical of Trump, to shutter after 23 years

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business
Updated 11:20 AM ET, Fri December 14, 2018

New York (CNN Business)The Weekly Standard, the magazine that espouses traditional conservatism and which has remained deeply critical of President Donald Trump, will shutter after 23 years, Clarity Media Group, the owner of its publisher announced Friday morning. It will publish its final issue on December 17.

The announcement came after the magazine's editor-in-chief, Stephen Hayes, met privately with Ryan McKibben, the chairman of The Weekly Standard's publisher, MediaDC.
"For more than twenty years The Weekly Standard has provided a valued and important perspective on political, literary and cultural issues of the day," McKibben said in a press release. "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."
Employees were told that they would be paid through the end of the year, and that afterward they would receive severance which would range in scale depending on factors like seniority, two people familiar with the matter told CNN. To receive severance, however, employees would need to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the people said.

Employees were also told to clear out their desks by the end of the day, the people told CNN. The people said that their email addresses were already in the process of being shut off.

The closing of the magazine represents a broader shift in conservative media. Outlets on the right that are critical of Trump have lost influence or changed their tone, while media organizations on the right supportive of the President have flourished.
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."
For months, The Weekly Standard's leadership had butted heads with MediaDC, and the two parties had previously agreed to allow Hayes to search for a new owner, people familiar with the matter told CNN earlier this month. Hayes conducted a search, according to those people, but MediaDC recently informed The Weekly Standard that it was no longer interested in selling.
Meanwhile, MediaDC poured resources into expanding the magazine belonging to one of its other properties, The Washington Examiner. It was The publisher announced last week that The Washington Examiner magazine would grow into a weekly publication. The Washington Examiner is less critical of Trump than The Weekly Standard.
The Weekly Standard was founded in 1995 by Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes. During the presidency of George W. Bush, it was widely considered to be aligned with the administration and with neoconservatism broadly.
Under Hayes' leadership, The Weekly Standard has remained steadfast in its criticism of Trump. Trump's supporters have lashed out at The Weekly Standard and its influence in Republican circles has dwindled.

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