Well they’re just gunna try a little bit of everything over at The Washington Times, aren’t they?
Today the paper announced they will launch a magazine for black conservatives, the American CurrentSee. (We guess that’s a pun?) Ben Carson -the neurosurgeon whose jeremiad against political correctness and healthcare reform at the National Prayer Breakfast last year made him famous in conservative circles -will be the publisher of the new digital weekly. Conservative columnist and radio host Armstrong Williams will serve as executive editor. Fox News’ Juan Williams will also contribute to the first issue, which comes out March 30th.
The magazine comes on the heels of two other significant developments at TWT. The first is an influx of big, conservative personalities to produce multi-platform content. Radio hosts Rusty Humphries, Steve Deace, and Tammy Bruce, along with Christine O’Donnell, Tom DeLay, and foreign affairs hawk Cliff May, were all brought on in the last three months to write columns, record Internet radio shows, and do digital video.
The second is a plan the paper announced earlier this month to offer travel-planning services on their website. TWT apparently envisions a future where “travelers can read an article about an upcoming event or popular travel destination and book the associated trip on the spot.”
And now, there’s a magazine. John Solomon sure does keep ‘em coming, we’ll give him that. It remains to be seen what effect all these reforms will have on the tone or substance of the paper’s reporting, but they are clearly aimed at boosting the bottom line. The plan seems to be to increase page-views by throwing out red meat to Tea Party enthusiasts and other conservative media consumers, and then monetize the resulting traffic by selling advertising across a new array of print, radio, and video products. Add business partnerships and sponsored content as desired, and voila! you have yourself a self-sustaining, 21-century media outlet.
A good idea in theory, perhaps. We’ll have to see if it actually works.