Update: Less than an hour after publishing our online story that The American Conservative would be ending its printed publication because of financial pressures, we received the following message from Daniel McCarthy of TAC: "We've had an outpouring of support from our readers (and writers), and we've made some financial cuts which will keep us going. There's still more work for us to do on shoring up our finances for the long term, but we will not be going out of print — much to the neocons' chagrin!" Mr. McCarthy added: "Please let readers of The New American blog know." We are delighted to share this encouragingng update to our original story (see below), which unbeknowst to us was out of date before we even published it. Such is the fast-paced world in which we live! — Editor
The April 20, 2009 issue of The American Conservative, a biweekly magazine whose founding editors were Patrick Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos, carried the announcement that its next issue would be its last. Explaining that the “economic crisis is exacting a toll on the publishing world,” the message from its editors to “Dear Subscribers” ruefully noted that “The American Conservative has not been spared” from the effects of the nation’s financial downturn.
Launched only eight years ago, The American Conservative
has always drawn its operating revenue from unnamed backers. Its pages have carried virtually no advertising, an absolutely critical source of financial muscle in the publishing world. Issue after issue did offer a generally appealing stream of conservative opinion from Buchanan and Taki, along with worthy contributions from such right-wing notables as Doug Bandow, James Bovard, Andrew Bacevich, Paul Gottfried, Scott McConnell, Justin Raimondo, and Thomas Woods. Published from a northern Virginia office not far from the White House and Capitol Hill, the magazine’s regular fare included welcome attacks on the neoconservatives who continue to dominate the Republican Party.
Not mentioned in the announcement of its imminent demise was any reference to the changing attitude of the American public about serious reading as well as the growing popularity of the Internet as a news source. Magazines are not the only victim of this development; big-city newspapers have been hit very hard as well. All across the nation, daily newspapers and popular news magazines have suffered steep declines in readership and advertising. Most have created an Internet presence, hoping to attract the growing numbers who are not reading print publications and in many cases won’t read more than online headlines and short summaries of events.
Though it will no longer publish a magazine, The American Conservative will continue to exist via its “revamped website.”