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Human Events Is Up For Sale

By Sandy Fitzgerald   |   Friday, 22 Feb 2013 12:11 PM

Owners of the conservative weekly magazine Human Events are looking for buyers for the financially struggling publication, which has seen its market share eroded in recent years by new web-based conservative outlets.

“We’re trying to figure out the right thing to do with a property that is sort of the cornerstone of the conservative movement,” Joe Guerriero, an executive with parent company Eagle Publishing, told Politico.

Guerriero did not deny the magazine’s difficult position or that it might have to shut down if a buyer can’t be found.

“That would be a really emotionally difficult thing for us to do,” Guerriero said of closing or selling. “There are too many conversations right now ongoing with potential buyers, so to even go in that direction right now, I don’t think it would be fair to a potential buyer, or us, either.”

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Human Events, still a favorite news source among conservative readers, has a circulation of 40,000 and is published 44 times a year. Just this week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took to its pages to voice complaints about Karl Rove’s political action committee and its potential effect on the Republican Party.

And Ronald Reagan’s biographer described the magazine as the late president’s “favorite reading for years.”

But other web-based conservative outlets are eroding the publication’s reader base, and one of Eagle Publishing’s own holdings, RedState.com, a leading conservative blog, may have also contributed to Human Events’ problems, Politico noted.

“We have a property in Red State that we’re very excited about,” Guerriero said. “It’s grown in influence. It is sort of the quick, essential new media property – tons of contributors, [editor-in-chief] Erick Erickson is a rising star in conservative media. And sometime, it’s tough to support a number of different initiatives, so I think that’s one of the things that may have led to it.”

To keep up with the quick-changing world of journalism, the magazine overhauled its print and online editions last year. And last March there were indications Human Events was considering a possible shift toward more centrist positions on issues, given the splits that were developing within the Republican Party among conservatives.

But Guerriero insisted there was “no connection” between the magazine’s troubles and moves by the Republican Party to reinvent itself.

“We understand the challenges that some say exist in the Republican Party, and the bit of a divide,” he said. “This is totally a macroeconomic newspaper issue. It’s got nothing to do with that, whatsoever.”

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