Accuracy in Media

ThinkProgress, the news site operated by the Democratic think tank Center for American Progress, is up for sale, according to the Daily Beast.

The staff was informed Monday that the site would be sold by CAP executive director Navin Nayak in a memo.

“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 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.”

ThinkProgress was launched 14 years ago during the height of the Bush administration and was the go-to site for liberals for many years. The site, which is editorially independent from CAP, has struggled as ad revenue and contributions have dropped. According to internal documents previously viewed by the Daily Beast, ThinkProgress faced a $3 million deficit in 2019.

In previous years, CAP covered the annual deficits but apparently has decided that it is too much of a financial drain to continue doing so.

CAP said they would “conduct a thorough and diverse search of potential publishers,” and that they would likely only sell to those who share the same viewpoints of Think Progress.

“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.”

This is similar to when the Washington Post placed Newsweek up for sale in 2o10 and rejected a bid by Newsmax, a conservative magazine operated by Chris Ruddy and instead electing to sell the publication to liberal billionaire Sidney Harman for $1 plus assumed liabilities.  Newsweek was later combined with the Daily Beast and after it continued to struggle was sold to IBT Media.

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