“We are very sad to announce that after more than two months of searching, we have been unable to identify a new publisher for ThinkProgress, and we are left with no choice but to close ThinkProgress as an independent enterprise focused on original reporting,” executive director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund Navin Nayak said in a statement.
“Given the challenging trends in digital news media that have undermined so many iconic outlets, it has become unsustainable for CAP Action, as a non-profit, to continue supplementing the growing shortfall in ThinkProgress revenue. Despite conversations with more than 20 potential new publishers, including several extended dialogues, those broad trends proved insurmountable in finding ThinkProgress a new home.”
ThinkProgress went up for sale in July.
The site’s writers were politically engaged and active in online debates, but in spite of employees’ permanent place in the discourse, the site was not immune to the financial pressures facing many in digital news media.
The outlet’s statement noted that ThinkProgress would be folded “back into CAP’s broader online presence with a focus on analysis of policy, politics, and news events through the lens of existing CAP and CAP Action staff experts.”
“Conversations on how to do so are just beginning, but we will seek to reinvent it as a different platform for progressive change,” the statement said.
Reaction to the news Friday was largely glum.
“The collapse of ThinkProgress demonstrates that the Democratic Party establishment and its donor base have little to no interest in sustaining center-left media outlets, even in the Age of Trump,” wrote Huffington Post’s Zach Carter.
“I left ThinkProgress on Monday, so I learned about its closure on Twitter,” tweeted Ian Millhiser. “It’s a f– shame. TP gave me the freedom to experiment and to wonk out and to be unafraid if my reporting didn’t treat #bothsides as exactly the same. I’ll always be grateful for that opportunity.”
The site’s founder, Judd Legum, tweeted that he found out about the closing of ThinkProgress through a Daily Beast article. “I joined CAP in 2003 and was one of the first employees and I joined because I believed in the mission of creating permanent progressive infrastructure It’s disheartening that CAP no longer believes that independent progressive journalism is worth supporting,” he wrote.