NRO Reshuffle

Kathryn Jean Lopez informs us that she’s leaving New York and her post as editor of National Review Online and moving to DC to become editor-at-large.  Rich Lowry, who has run NR’s print operation since William F. Buckley, Jr. stepped down in 1997, will be assuming her current duties.

No word on what this means for NRO’s editorial direction.  I’d like to see it take a few steps back in the direction of being the intellectual home of conservatism but that seems vanishingly unlikely.

The leftist commentators thus far, in addition to saying some dreadful things about KLo, seem to think this is an indication that NR is tightening its belt and proof that conservative opinion magazines can’t sustain themselves on the free market.  Given that we have no information about the new pay structure, I see no reason to think the former. The latter is doubtless true but we can strike the modifier “conservative.”  No opinion magazine of any stripe has been profitable in my lifetime; they’re all subsidized in some fashion.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    I’d like to see it take a few steps back in the direction of being the intellectual home of conservatism but that seems vanishingly unlikely.

    I admit being curious on where you suppose them to have moved away from that function. I’m not being argumentitive, I’m curious…. flesh this out some.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I think they’ve become more partisan hackish and less intellectual. But maybe that’s a function of the Web vice print. Or of my being older and less easily impressed.

  3. Eric Florack says:

    I think they’ve become more partisan hackish and less intellectual.

    Perception changes outcome, to be certain, but I wonder what drives that perception? Let’s look at the founding documents of NR. (First para on the page… you’re picking it up from mid-article)

    How can a publication with such founding principles be considered as anything BUT partisan? I’m trying to get my arms around your objection here, James, and Partisan doesn’t quite seem to explain your objection.

  4. Our Paul says:

    And the Magazine cover was chosen because it was readily available, or to remind us that KLo’s ethnicity is Hispanic and therefore another version of the wise Latina, or…. This one, I for one, cannot figure out…

    Not to be construed as a cheap shot, for I certainly agree with this:

    No word on what this means for NRO’s editorial direction. I’d like to see it take a few steps back in the direction of being the intellectual home of conservatism but that seems vanishingly unlikely.

  5. James Joyner says:

    And the Magazine cover was chosen because it was readily available, or to remind us that KLo’s ethnicity is Hispanic and therefore another version of the wise Latina, or…. This one, I for one, cannot figure out…

    It’s both 1) the current cover, 2) one that was controversial, and 3) represents the silliness that NR has frequently degenerated into in its post-Buckley years.

  6. steve says:

    I am with you James. I keep hoping that NRO will give up its snark routine and get serious. It is sometimes useful as a center of criticism, but rarely offers anything positive. I hope that adding Reihan is a step in that direction. He is thoughtful, offers solutions and criticizes the other side without malice. I generally get the feeling he cares about his country, the whole country. I hope the others there do not ruin him.

    Steve

  7. How can a publication with such founding principles be considered as anything BUT partisan?

    Those founding principles aren’t partisan at all; they’re ideological. The fact that partisanship has largely replaced ideology in the conservative movement is why it’s in decline right now.

  8. Our Paul says:

    James, in response to your response on the cover of NR chosen for this blog, you really know how to pour salt into the wounds of of a correspondent that takes pride in his subtlety!

    I must call for a round of applause, for it is difficult to argue against your point #3, to wit:

    represents the silliness that NR has frequently degenerated into in its post-Buckley years.

    But, who would have guessed that was your intent? On the other hand, advancing age may not lead to wisdom, but rather a decrease in perception.