Media tipping point? Famous blogger set to go fully independent

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2 2013 6:59 p.m. MST

The renowned blogger Andrew Sullivan announced Wednesday he will be moving his blog, The Daily Dish, to a stand-alone, subscription-only format that will be fully divested of any parent publication as of Feb. 1.

Sullivan has been blogging for more than 12 years. The Daily Dish is currently hosted by The Daily Beast, and in the past has been affiliated with websites for Time and The Atlantic.

“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,” Sullivan wrote Wednesday. “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. … (We’ve) agreed to strike out on our own with no safety net below us but you.”

In explaining his decision, Sullivan also cited an adage about the costs and benefits of subscription-only Internet content: “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product being sold.”

Salon called Sullivan’s plan “his boldest move ever” and “a gamble that he hopes will one day become the norm within the journalism industry.”

The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog detailed, “Mr. Sullivan is starting his new company, Dish Publishing LLC, with his two colleagues and executive editors, Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner. Mr. Sullivan said that he has received the support of (the Daily Beast) to keep ‘The Dish’ on the Daily Beast website through Feb. 1. Then the site will shift to his old address, www.andrewsullivan.com.”

The pre-order subscription rate for The Daily Dish is $19.99 for one year.

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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