Washington Post Scrambles to Fill Trump Void As Readership Tanks


When former President Donald Trump made one of his first post-presidential appearances, he kicked off his remarks by saying, “Do you miss me yet?”

If he were saying that to The Washington Post, the answer would be “yes.”

The Post faces a crisis at a crossroads of its future as it tries to turn away from all-Trump all-the-time political coverage into other areas, but so far readers aren’t buying it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported on a meeting of top newspaper officials that it said took place last week.

As part of the Post’s review of its past, a document was shared showing the outlet’s website traffic dropped 28 percent in October.

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Although declines in the liberal media during the post-Trump era are common, the Post’s decline was greater than most, including The New York Times and CNN.

Digital subscriptions also were slipping. As of October, the Post had about 2.7 million digital subscribers after starting the year at about 3 million.

The Journal report noted that while the paper was generating stories attacking Trump in 2019, most of its top 50 stories were related to politics, while in 2021, only three of its top 10 were political.

The Post said it has been aware of the changes.

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“Knowing that news consumption is cyclical, we’ve been deliberate in our strategy work and are seeing the results of our investments across the company, particularly with the growth of the newsroom, the broadening of our coverage and the sophistication of our storytelling tools,” a spokeswoman for the Post said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Readers, however, are not impressed.

The Post’s website traffic from non-subscribers has dropped 35 percent over the past two years, the Journal reported.

Subscriber page views increased by only 6 percent during that period, according to the document, which also said the Post  is not relevant to younger readers.

“Our paid product is not attractive to younger people,” the document said.

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The only group it said has “high” interest in the Post is one called “confident strivers,” which the document describes as “affluent, urban married men with kids, more multi-ethnic, skew liberal/Democratic.”

Although the Post has copied the same strategies used by its rivals to enter new areas of coverage, none have proved as successful as hoped.

The Post also has explored different methods of advertising. The Journal report said employees have discussed using the song “For What It’s Worth” by the band Buffalo Springfield, but the concept never moved forward.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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