Is The Washington Post in full-scale collapse? A recent look at the numbers provides a fairly convincing answer to that question.
According to the report, not only is the Post losing $100 million a year, but it lost over half of its online engagement by the end of 2023. The signs were already there by mid-year, and the worst has come to pass.
“Of that audience, less than one in five read more than a single article per month, while less than one in 500 actually convert to a paying subscription.”
— Josh Kraushaar (@JoshKraushaar) January 6, 2024
Having a billionaire sugar daddy has helped mask some of the issues plaguing the Post, but the tide can only be held back so long. To lose over 50 percent of its online viewership is catastrophic for an outlet with such high overhead costs. Subscriber numbers have also nosedived throughout the Biden administration.
That last fact is interesting because the trend was originally blamed on Donald Trump no longer being in the news. The former president has been firmly back in the headlines the last year, though, and the Post has continued its downward spiral. If Trump being charged with multiple felonies isn’t enough to save the once-storied paper, it’s hard to imagine what could.
As to the reasons behind this precipitous fall, I think they are fairly obvious. Nothing the Post produces is worthwhile. Their columnists are boring parrots who all say the same thing, levying the same boring attacks they were levying nearly a decade ago. Even a dyed-in-the-wool liberal can only take so many Jennifer Rubin columns claiming the end is nigh for the nation because Republicans get to vote.
Then there’s Taylor Lorenz, who has done more to harm the Post’s credibility in the few years she’s worked there than any other “journalist” at the outlet. She’s been caught committing multiple ethical violations dealing with her “stories,” and the response from her employers has been non-existent. Of all the people who should have been given the boot long ago, Lorenz was one of them.
Where does Jeff Bezos, who owns the Post, go from here? The path the news outlet is on is not sustainable. Continuing to dump money into a sinking ship is a bad investment, and because the Post’s leaders are more beholden to their left-wing radicalism than market forces, there’s no reason to think the ship can ever be saved.