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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 - 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.

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: cuneo | Jan 2, 2013 7:42:54 PM

  2. 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.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jan 2, 2013 7:46:15 PM

  3. "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.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jan 2, 2013 7:49:03 PM

  4. and the site shutters or goes ad supported in 5...4...3...2...1

    Posted by: epic | Jan 2, 2013 7:49:12 PM

  5. 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!

    Posted by: Mary | Jan 2, 2013 7:53:34 PM

  6. 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.

    Posted by: SC David | Jan 2, 2013 11:53:57 PM

    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:

    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.


    Posted by: SC David | Jan 3, 2013 12:11:29 AM

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


    LittleKiwi needs an award, funny yet poignant

    best comment

    Posted by: Marky | Jan 3, 2013 12:47:14 AM

  9. I wouldn't pay 2cents a year to read anything the smug Andrew Sullivan has to say.

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 3, 2013 1:58:15 AM

  10. 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.

    Posted by: RC | Jan 3, 2013 2:24:09 AM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jan 3, 2013 2:54:20 AM

  12. I see Miss Belonsky deleted my documented timeline of Sullivan's racism, hypocrisy, sexism, and multiple acts of Idiocy. How predictable.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 3, 2013 3:00:38 AM

  13. "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.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jan 3, 2013 3:01:55 AM

  14. This a nobody...who cares...non issue....NEXT?

    Posted by: BigUn | Jan 3, 2013 10:07:14 AM

  15. "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.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Jan 4, 2013 11:02:22 PM

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