Andrew Sullivan Set To Start Independent Pay Site February 1

AndrewsullivanbeastGay blogger Andrew Sullivan announced today that he and his executive editorial team, Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner, are leaving their virtual home at Newsweek-owned The Daily Beast to set up shop as a pay site with no ads, a move they say will help them get back to their online grassroots.

From Sullivan’s announcement:

…As we contemplated the end of our contract with the Beast at the end of 2012, we faced a decision… As we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism. And since the Dish has, from its beginnings, attempted to pioneer exactly such a solid future for web journalism, we also felt we almost had a duty to try and see if we could help break some new ground.

The only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance, and legal, technological and accounting expenses.

As of February 1, we will revert to our old URL – www.andrewsullivan.com… Here’s the core principle: we want to create a place where readers – and readers alone – sustain the site. No bigger media companies will be subsidizing us; no venture capital will be sought to cushion our transition (unless my savings count as venture capital); and, most critically, no advertising will be getting in the way.

The cost will be $19.99 a year, which works out to about a nickel a day. Whether or not you think that is a fair price probably depends on how much you value Sullivan and his team’s opinions. If you ask me, that’s actually a pretty good deal.

In the meantime, The team’s work will still be accessible at The Daily Beast until their new site officially launches next month.

Comments

  1. MARCUS BACHMANN says

    I still haven’t recovered from the embarassing sight of Sullivan and Jim “Rest Stop” McGreevy blubbering at the 92nd Street Y over their devout Catholicism.

  2. WebHybrid says

    Regardless of Sullivan’s unfortunate Catholicism or similar considerations: people like their websites free of charge. Period.

    Doesn’t seem like a wise [for him] move.

  3. Paul R says

    It’s a terrible move. I liked him at one time, but I couldn’t care less now. And most magazines don’t cost $20 a year—because they take ads.

  4. Arrant says

    Used to read Andrew daily, but stopped about 3 months ago when he went hysterical over the first Presidential debate. I haven’t really missed him in that time, even though I used to really like his perspective, which adds a different inflection to both political and gay news coverage. Guess there are just too many alternatives online.

    If he’s going to make this work he’ll have to forge a different relationship with his readers. He can start by allowing comments on his posts. Anyone who subsidizes him by paying $20 a year should have the right to be heard themselves.

  5. KevinSF says

    Sullivan is such an unmitigated coward he was the only blogger at the Daily Beast to NOT allow comments. Juxtapose this with Glenn Greenwald who not only allows comments but interacts online with commmenters and values their criticism. Sullivan going behind a pay wall is just where he should be out of sight and out the public discourse. Princess Rapunzel (fortunately for us) has no hair to let down so once ensconced in her tower we may never be bothered by her histrionics again.

  6. Qj201 says

    If Andy posts some pics of his bareback adventures, I’m sure members of the LCR and GoProud will all sign up. But are there enough of them to pay for Andy’s upkeep at only 20 bucks a year.

  7. Lifesart says

    Resonable deal, might subscribe for a year to see if his being independent changes anything. But he has not been adding to the discussion for the past year or so………

  8. Mike in nyc says

    Def in the minority here, but Iike Andrew, despite the fact that I am far far
    to the Left of him and do not share his love for the make believe world of religion. think he has a valuable voice. Although, I imagine he will vastly lessen his site presence by this.

    PS little kiwi, generally always agree with you and adore your comments and thoughts. Not aware of Andrew as crypto-racist. Hope that is not so.

  9. Mike in nyc says

    Def in the minority here, but Iike Andrew, despite the fact that I am far far
    to the Left of him and do not share his love for the make believe world of religion. think he has a valuable voice. Although, I imagine he will vastly lessen his site presence by this.

    PS little kiwi, generally always agree with you and adore your comments and thoughts. Not aware of Andrew as crypto-racist. Hope that is not so.

  10. SC David says

    The Sully-hate here is striking, and I don’t understand why.

    Is a center-right, Burkean conservative so very offensive to everybody here? Yes, Sullivan gets obsessed with foreskin, steroids, beards, and pot, writes in the moment and is notoriously apt to melt down on occasion. That’s part of the package if you enjoy Sullivan’s thinking on politics and culture.

    Do we hate him for advocating seroconcordant relationships as a technique to limit HIV infection? He went through his public outing-at-the-stake as a poz guy who for a time sought unprotected sex with other poz guys. Michelangelo Signorile turned into a pit bull and never misses a chance to try to humiliate Sullivan (ex: publicizing Sullivan’s pot ticket that put a green card at risk). Signorile’s ongoing hate seems to be mostly about Signorile’s disgust with a more-famous-than-he guy who doesn’t toe Signorile’s progressive/liberal political line rather than a honest debate about HIV prevention. I don’t get that either; Signorile and Sullivan very often arrive at the same conclusion despite different starting points.

    Like it or not, Sully is a highly visible gay voice and has been an important theoretician in the gay marriage movement for a long, long time. He’s a good part of why gay marriage rights have advanced. There might not have been a Nate Silver without there having been an Andrew Sullivan. Why the hate?

  11. says

    what, SPECIFICALLY, does it mean to “toe (sic) the progressive liberal line”, SC David?

    Specifics, please.

    intent and motivation are the nuanced and most important sides of one’s outlook.

    btw, know what else limits HIV infection? these dazzling new inventions called condoms.

  12. steven lucas says

    Rupert Murdoch attempted pay sites and I don’t think they’ve been successful. What makes Andrew Sullivan think that we will fork out to read him?

    Andrew can be quite good at times but there is such a plethora of good stuff on the net, people will simply go to the free good stuff. Andrew needs to think again.

  13. Marty says

    Andrew Sullivan was known for his anti-black views when he live in DC, despite the fact that he regularly sought out big black cock. Like many white gays, he felt minorities only served one purpose, sex.

  14. jamal49 says

    A. I don’t value Andrew Sullivan’s and his team’s views.

    B. Andrew Sullivan is a repulsive individual and as hypocritical as they get.

    C. I didn’t read Andrew Sullivan when he was supposedly accessible for nothing.

    D. I will not pay even minus one-cent to read Andrew Sullivan now.

  15. Houndentenor says

    After years of covering countless ill-fated attempts for news sites to put their columnists behind a pay-wall, Sullivan has decided to follow them in this ill-fated venture. I sometimes enjoy reading his blog, but there’s very little there that’s worth paying for. Adios, Andy.

  16. says

    @Lauri, mea culpa.

    *elegant curtsy*

    Now kindly articulate the specifics of what it means to toe the liberal line. With specifics. Because I like specifics.

    Because surely you have an idea 😀 you so smart, gurl :)

  17. cuneo says

    I Can’t stand Sullivan’s smugness. He seems to believe that he is the all-knowing voice of reason for gay americans and the authority on american politics(despite the fact he didnt grow up here) I find him annoying.

  18. EchtKultig says

    I’ve always found him annoying, from his earliest appearances on television in the mid 1990s when he hysterically proclaimed global warming to be real because spring flowers were blooming early that year in DC. Not that global warming isn’t happening, but that’s a totally unscientific reason to think that it is…particularly for someone who had lived in DC for about 5 years at that point. That was during his liberal phase, I suppose. He’s always been an attention seeking gadfly, whose Catholic apologetics have never stopped being ridiculous.

  19. EchtKultig says

    “There might not have been a Nate Silver without there having been an Andrew Sullivan.”

    Thanks, even in a week with much Fiscal Cliff hilarity (as well as the pleasure of seeing Christie “going rogue” today) this is the most laughable thing I’ve heard. Nate Silver has more intellect in his left ear than Andrew Sullivan has in his whole steroid-puffed body.

  20. Mary says

    I wasn’t aware that so many in the gay community diskike Andrew Sullivan. He always struck me as interesting. I’m surprised to hear that he has views that could be described as racist – he doesn’t seem the type. I may just subscribe to his new website for $20 a year. But the real problem would be Towleroad becoming a pay-site. I would probably pay whatever Andy would charge us. I just couldn’t afford to pay what Towleroad is actually WORTH! There’s nothing like this place. I would have been thrown off most other gay websites long ago!

  21. SC David says

    Thanks much, folks, for the answers to my query. To summarize the lines of debate above, it appears the near-consensus TowleRoad line is that we hate Sully because:

    1. He values his Catholic faith (even though he criticizes the church hierarchy relentlessly, his valuing his faith and encouraging the hierarchy to change are unacceptable to us).

    2. We think his business decision was foolish (time will tell, won’t it?).

    3. We believe he supports barebacking and has bug-chasing parties.

    4. We believe he is/was racist in his sexual proclivities, as there were rumors to that effect (not sure how this squares with the man he married).

    5. We dislike his personality, and consider his Oxford and Harvard educations consistent with his being an “idiot.”

    Thanks to all for clarifying the Party Line…I now stand well-informed as to precisely where my toes are supposed to rest.

  22. SC David says

    @ ECHTKULTIG:
    I’m very pleased to read that my thesis that Sullivan helped pave the way for Silver amused you so greatly to begin 2013, and hope you will continue to find amusement as the year proceeds.

    You may wish to review the 2001 Village Voice article that attacked Sullivan for all sorts of reasons when his cruising-for-other-poz-guys proclivity was outed by Musto, Signorile et al. Richard Goldstein therein especially gnashes his literary teeth that Sullivan became the out gay writer at The Times beginning in 1998, when “Not long ago, it was impossible to imagine a gay columnist at America’s paper of record.” Cite: http://www.villagevoice.com/2001-06-19/news/the-real-andrew-sullivan-scandal/

    So…even the contemporaneous opponents of Sullivan noted that he was the first…and today Silver being gay brings shrugs from everybody sane when the right wing tries to attack Silver for his sexuality.

    Q.E.D.

  23. Marky says

    “the fee covers the costs of printing newsletters for their quarterly Bug-Chasing parties. No blacks allowed. They only want White strains.

    *next*”

    LittleKiwi needs an award, funny yet poignant

    best comment

  24. RC says

    To address merely the blogging revenue support issue, I’ve learned that a number of bloggers/vloggers have revenue issues. The recession wiped out a lot of ad revenue for bloggers (as well as traditional media). Subscriptions (if you can get them) might offer a stable alternative to the ad model. You could go to work for someone else but then they not only own you but could also drop you at any time. Maybe somebody could devise a new system that bloggers could use to support their blogs with. This might be a topic Andy (don’t mean Sullivan) might care to drop his two cents on.

  25. EchtKultig says

    I can’t take time to explain the history of transatlantic academic advancement, but I know people who have these sort of resumes and they aren’t as impressive as you think they are. Harvard loves to admit Oxbridge graduates, and Andrew’s secondary school history indicates he either benefited from parents who paid for him to go to Reigate or from a UK government form of “affirmative action”. (socio-economic, rather than racially based) People who go to certain UK private schools have an easier time getting into Oxford than you might think. It’s not the same as getting into Stanford or Harvard over here as an undergraduate, particularly in the late 70s. But that isn’t to say he isn’t smart and wasn’t a good student. I’m sure he was.

    But that’s beside the point because _I_ never called him an idiot. I did say he was annoying and a hell of a lot of people here and at various other gay blogs seem to agree with me. I will add – as you have helpfully pointed out – that he is also hypocritical in several ways. I suppose there’s some deep connection between bare backing and X’s suffering that I’m not seeing? And btw you obviously don’t understand Catholicism (and neither does Andrew) if think you can separate the hierarchy from the so-called faith. I can’t think of a world religion where the twain are more inseparable.

  26. EchtKultig says

    “The recession wiped out a lot of ad revenue for bloggers (as well as traditional media).”

    Yep. This is true. I feel like in the past couple years numerous blogs have folded, particularly that odd sort of intermediate size that I would stumble upon in google, but never bother following because they were a little too niche. For example I might visit “Digital Home Thoughts” if I were thinking about buying a digital camera, but I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time there.

  27. Diogenes Arktos says

    “And btw you obviously don’t understand Catholicism (and neither does Andrew) if think you can separate the hierarchy from the so-called faith. I can’t think of a world religion where the twain are more inseparable.”

    I’m not RC. I understand the concept of the teaching authority of the magisterium (i.e. the twain are inseparable). OTOH to this outsider, the major disconnect between the laity of the American church and the hierarchy shows that the hierarchy and the faith can be disjoint.

Leave A Reply