Andrew Sullivan: Daily Beast had 'no advertising revenues to speak of'

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.”

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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