Breitbart writer John Nolte today claims that according to a mysterious unnamed source, Andrew Sullivan was actually fired by the Daily Beast. Two weeks ago Sullivan announced the end of his relationship with the site and launched a (so far) successful subscription model. Nolte writes:
According to this source, who spoke exclusively with Breitbart News, the powers that be at the Daily Beast decided the traffic Sullivan’s Daily Dish delivered just wasn’t worth the price of holding on to him for another year. In other words, the Daily Beast did not renew Andrew Sullivan’s contract, and he was let go. Though Sullivan never came out and said directly that it was his choice to leave the Beast, the carefully worded January 2 post announcing the move most certainly left the impression that the reason for the separation didn’t involve him being dumped. Rather, that this was all about Sullivan and his editorial staff making a scary/brave decision to embark on a new adventure involving a completely independent, subscription-based blog.
Nolte offers the following as “proof” of Sullivan’s unpopularity.
For a blogger with a media profile as big as Sullivan’s, the fact that he has fewer than 75,000 Twitter followers is a bit surprising. By comparison, Ben Smith has over 125,000, Dave Weigel over 98,000, and Michelle Malkin (who Sullivan has named an unflattering award after) has more than the three of them combined. Furthermore, a quick scan of the Daily Dish front page, which holds around 40 individual posts, reveals that (as of this writing Friday afternoon) only one post has received more than a hundred Facebooks “Likes,” and 24 have fewer than ten. These days, connecting with social media is absolutely crucial to clicks and readership. If those Facebook numbers are the norm, the Dish is severely lacking in all-important social media traction.
As I noted in the comments in the above-linked post, judging the popularity of a blogger merely by Facebook likes on individual posts is really lame. A quick check of Sitemeter reveals that Andrew Sullivan’s sub-site on Daily Beast received just over 120 million pageviews in 2012. Not only that, Sullivan’s one-man-show (with staff) out-performs ALL of Breitbart and its many, many contributors.