Left-wing website ThinkProgress, which has never been profitable, has been put up for sale by the John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress (CAP), which had been keeping the site afloat.
According to the Daily Beast, staff were notified on Monday afternoon that the site was for sale after coming under severe financial strains during the Trump administration.
"Unfortunately, like so many other news outlets that have relied on advertising to fund its work, ThinkProgress has seen a significant drop in revenue in recent years, along with other financial strains. In addition, events over the last few years have underscored the divergent missions of American Progress and ThinkProgress," said CAP executive director Navin Nayak.
"For all of these reasons, we announced to the ThinkProgress staff today that we are searching for a new publisher for the news site. This is a tough decision since ThinkProgress has been a part of CAP Action almost since its founding. While ThinkProgress' financial challenges are unsustainable for an organization like CAP Action, we are hopeful that there are publishers who would be better able to support ThinkProgress' mission and better positioned to maximize the significant value ThinkProgress has built up."
Launched 14 years ago during the height of the Bush administration, ThinkProgress made a name for itself over time as an unapologetically progressive source of news and a launching pad for several major progressive luminaries. But the site, which is editorially independent from CAP, has struggled in recent years as advertising revenues have dried up and traffic has dipped. According to internal documents previously reviewed by The Daily Beast, the site was facing a $3 million gulf between revenues and expenses in 2019, with $350,000 of it made up by a shortfall in ad revenue and nearly $180,000 of it coming from a drop in expected online contributions. -Daily Beast
The site had previously reduced headcount from 40 to 35 to no avail.
It is unknown how much CAP is asking for ThinkProgress, or whether the site would be shut down if a suitor isn't found.
"We will only entertain serious proposals from publishers and organizations who are genuinely interested in investing in ThinkProgress and supporting its mission," said Nayak. "Our ideal outcome is for ThinkProgress to continue the important work done by its journalists under the auspices of a new entity."