Employees of the Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine that often set its sights on President Trump, were told Friday to clear out their desks by the end of the day, CNN reports. The 23-year-old magazine, owned by Clarity Media Group, will publish its final issue on Monday, per the Huffington Post, which cites reports that magazine staff were aware that something “bad” was in the works since last week. According to CNN, the closure “represents a broader shift in conservative media,” with those conservative outlets that are critical of Trump losing influence and those that support the president flourishing. The New York Times shares that assessment, adding that the Weekly Standard’s editor banned “alt-right-style, partisan clickbait stories” and encouraged reporting likely to irk Trump and his supporters.
In a statement, however, Clarity Media Group head Ryan McKibben says it’s “double-digit declines” in subscribers, rather than politics, that has led to the publication’s demise. In an all-staff meeting announcing the development, audio of which was obtained by CNN, employees were told that they would get paid through the end of the year and would receive a severance. McKibben warned staffers not to “put your severance in jeopardy” by disparaging the company on social media. He also refused to answer employees’ questions. “This isn’t a press conference,” he said. (This newspaper writer resigned over plagiarism.)