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ThinkProgress, the progressive news website, is up for sale

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 20:46:13-04

ThinkProgress, a progressive news website founded more than a decade ago, is up for sale, its publisher, the Center for American Progress, announced on Monday.

“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,” Navin Nayak, executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said in a statement provided to CNN Business. “In addition, events over the last few years have underscored the divergent missions of American Progress and ThinkProgress.”

Nayak characterized the news, which was first reported by The Daily Beast, as a “tough decision.” He said employees were informed that the Center for American Progress was “searching for a new publisher” earlier in the day.

ThinkProgress was founded 14 years ago during the administration of President George W. Bush and remained editorially independent from the Center for American Progress. It earned its early reputation among readers for its criticism of the Iraq War, and has since continued to serve as a hub for progressive news and reporting.

Despite praise from progressives, ThinkProgress was reportedly not profitable. In 2019, it faced a $3 million shortfall, according to The Daily Beast. $350,000 of the shortfall was due to a drop off in advertising revenue, The Daily Beast reported.

The financial challenges described by Nayak mimic those other digital publishers have grappled with in recent years, as big technology companies like Facebook and Google chip away at an advertising market once commanded by publishers.

“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 as a progressive news site, and better positioned to maximize the significant value ThinkProgress has built up,” Nayak said.

Nayak stressed that only “serious proposals from publishers and organizations who are genuinely interested in investing in ThinkProgress and supporting its mission.”

“Our ideal outcome is for ThinkProgress to continue the important work done everyday by its talented and devoted journalists under the auspices of a new entity,” he said.