Rich Lowry Stepping Down as Editor of National Review Magazine

From a post on by Sara Fischer headlined “Rich Lowry stepping down as editor of National Review’s magazine”:

Rich Lowry, the longtime editor of the conservative opinion magazine National Review, is stepping down from his role overseeing the print publication to focus on more strategic long-term initiatives as the company’s editor-in-chief, Lowry tells Axios.

  • Ramesh Ponnuru, a longtime editor with the outlet, will lead the magazine.

Why it matters: The transition comes amid a growth period for the 65-year-old magazine and now-digital media outlet.

By the numbers: National Review has roughly 110,000 subscribers, about half of which are digital. It’s increased digital subscriptions about 30% over the last year.

  • Total revenue has been up about 20% over the last year, per Lowry, who cited the company’s growth in circulation, podcast and email revenue.
  • “A few years ago, we had an overall operating loss of almost $2 million,” Lowry says. “We have closed the gap considerably the last couple of years and are now much closer to break even.”
  • The company…has raised more than $1 million over the last year in small-dollar donations from its readers — most of it over the last three months.

Details: In Lowry’s new role as editor-in-chief, he will continue to be responsible for overall editorial policy while focusing more on long-term strategic efforts — including building relationships within the conservative movement and with the outlet’s donors, as well as doing more speaking engagements.

  • Lowry says he will be focused on carrying out National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr.’s mission by keeping the magazine “up to his standards intellectually in terms of its integrity and courage.”

Ponnuru has covered national politics and policy for National Review for over two decades. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

  • I’m excited to be taking the helm of the magazine at a time when there are so many fundamental debates going on among conservatives,” Ponnuru says….
  • Ponnuru says he wants to focus on making the magazine “more visually pleasing and intellectually compelling.” He says the company is thinking about doing a redesign.

The big picture: National Review, with the help of support from its audience, has been able to weather what has been a challenging time for companies that started out in print media.

  • “We’re beginning to get to a place where we’ll be at our historical level of print magazine subscriptions, but it will be a mix of print and digital,” Lowry says.
  • National Review launched NRPlus, its digital subscription program, in 2018….

What’s next: The changes will take place in January.

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