Andrew Sullivan

Since 2001, ‘The Dish’ published 115,436 posts

New York

New York magazine has pulled together a timeline of Andrew Sullivan’s “The Dish.” It includes major topics the blogger took on, from marriage equality to his endorsement of Barack Obama, as well as highlights and some numbers.

For instance:

Reader emails received since 2008: 622,162

Largest donation from a reader:$25,000

“Beard of the Week” posts: 50

Published posts since January 2001: 115,436

Recurring beagle characters (Dusty, Eddy, and Bowie): 3

Earlier this month, Sullivan wrote his final post, including something he first wrote 13 years ago.

[T]he speed with which an idea in your head reaches thousands of other people’s eyes has another deflating effect, this time in reverse: It ensures that you will occasionally blurt out things that are offensive, dumb, brilliant, or in tune with the way people actually think and speak in private.

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Andrew Sullivan has moved back to Washington, D.C., following “an openly miserable 18 months in New York” working for the Daily Beast, Sophie Gilbert reports in Washingtonian. His blog is now a subscription site, but Gilbert writes about how Sullivan got paid before:

That ability to provoke—to draw eyeballs—was what had prompted media mogul David Bradley to lure Sullivan away from Time to the Atlantic in 2007 with an irresistible offer pegging the writer’s salary to his page views. It was an arrangement that proved very productive, until it became untenable. By the end of 2010, Sullivan was bringing in a quarter of the magazine’s web traffic—and had to go. As he explained it later, “I got too expensive.”

Tina Brown promised him a share of the ad revenue at the Daily Beast, he says, along with a budget of about $800,000 a year, which was enough to expand his team (and give them health insurance). He went for it. But by the middle of 2012, the flaw revealed itself.

“One of the big advantages of it was getting some share of the advertising revenues,” Sullivan says, “which I think was only fair given what we were bringing to the table, and would have been a great deal had there been any advertising revenues. But there were no advertising revenues to speak of.”

Sophie Gilbert, Washingtonian


Andrew Sullivan’s ‘The Dish’ has more than 27,000 subscribers six months in

The Dish
In the six months since “The Dish” shifted to an independent, reader-funded blog, it has acquired 27,349 subscribers. Traffic dipped a little in the spring but has picked back up again, Andrew Sullivan says in a blog post.

Revenue is now at a gross $715,000 – with our stated goal remaining $900,000 for the entire year. It may seem like we’re well on our way, and we are, with 80 percent of our stated annual goal achieved in only six months. The caveat – and it’s a big one – is that the vast majority of our income came in the very first few days of the launch, and, because we didn’t even have our own site then, none of that was auto-renewable.

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Andrew Sullivan tweaks paywall model after initial subscriber surge slows

The Dish

After raising a few hundred thousand dollars immediately and about $611,000 after a few weeks, subscriber growth is slowing for Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog.

Sullivan wrote Monday that income is now at $653,000 out of the $900,000 he needs to break even. If you do the math, that’s about $42,000 in new revenue over the past 30 days. “That’s 72 percent of our goal in almost three months,” he said, “but almost all the likeliest subscribers have joined already. It gets tougher from here on out.”

A Daily Dish chart of subscription sales shows the decline after a strong launch.

As a result, Sullivan has tightened the meter from seven free reads a month to five over two months, and on Monday announced a new monthly subscription option for $1.99. Read more

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Since moving to a reader-funded blog, Andrew Sullivan has collected about $611,000, and he doesn’t want to nag, but…

[A]round 7,000 of you have already clicked on seven read-ons – your total free access every month – and not yet encountered a request to contribute. The next time you do, you will. …

Of course, nagging is an integral part to pay-meters’ success. They wear you down. If your experience online is anything like mine, I tend to ignore the pay-us boxes until they finally get too annoying. At some point, if what I’m reading is worth it, I say to myself: “Screw it. Just get this over with.”


Andrew Sullivan, The Dish

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Ben Smith and Andrew Sullivan battle in sponsored-content throwdown!

Digiday | Andrew Sullivan | The Atlantic | Capital
A sponsored story on BuzzFeed will run an advertiser about $20,000, Jack Marshall reports. A BuzzFeed spokesperson hasn’t yet replied to my query as to whether that’s accurate. But say it is: That seems like a pretty good deal when you consider the site’s rapidly growing audience.

It’s maybe even a better deal for advertisers if, as Andrew Sullivan argued Thursday, you find BuzzFeed’s sponsored articles hard to differentiate from staff-produced articles. “I don’t see an ethical line being definitively crossed here – just deliberately left very fuzzy,” he wrote. Read more


Bloggers wonder how successful Andrew Sullivan’s new approach will be

BuzzFeed | Reuters | Time | Foster Kamer | GigaOM | TechCrunch
Andrew Sullivan, who is taking his venerable blog “The Daily Dish” independent, tells BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray that he’s already gotten individual donations for up to $10,000. “We’re well into six figures in revenue,” he told her, adding that he “wasn’t sure how many subscribers at a base rate of $19.99 a year he would need to make the enterprise work long-term.”

Sullivan would need about 50,000 subscribers a year to make enough to feed and clothe himself and his seven staffers, Reuters’ Felix Salmon calculates. That million bucks is not a huge barrier; you could put together a good alt-weekly for that cost and with a similar staff, and you don’t have to pay for print. Read more


Andrew Sullivan announces shift to independent, reader-funded blog

Daily Beast
After six years of affiliating his popular blog with major media companies Time, The Atlantic and most recently the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan announced he’s returning to independence.

As of Feb. 1, the blog will live at without any ads, sponsors or investment backing. Just Sullivan and a couple of colleagues blogging — and hopefully, readers paying. Sullivan is asking for $19.99 a year to subscribe (“around a nickel a day”).

Sullivan calls it “the purest, simplest model for online journalism: you, us, and a meter. Period. No corporate ownership, no advertising demands, no pressure for pageviews … just a concept designed to make your reading experience as good as possible, and to lead us not into temptation.” Read more

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