Patterico's Pontifications


Mediaite: Hot Air Sold to Salem

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Twitter was abuzz with speculation yesterday after Allahpundit dropped a hint that Hot Air had a big announcement pending. Was Ed Morrissey growing a mullet? Was Allahpundit filling in as a last-minute substitute on the U.S. Women’s Curling team?

Mediaite now puts the rumors to bed:

Mediaite has learned that leading center-right web site Hot Air has been acquired by Salem Communications for an undisclosed sum.

So what will this mean for Hot Air readers? Hopefully, nothing:

Hot Air is managed on a day-to-day basis by editors Ed Morrissey and the mysterious AllahPundit, who are reported to be part of the deal in the sale of to Salem, and absolutely essential to the core value of Hot Air. We are told that, from a user’s perspective, Hot Air will remain the same despite the change in ownership.

This appears to be confirmed by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, who has a post up that says:

What I can tell you now is that Hot Air’s current mission and direction will not change, and that both AP and I will continue being part of Hot Air for the foreseeable future.

The Mediaite story says that the official announcement will not come until tomorrow at CPAC. Ed says that he and Allah are not commenting until then.

I hope nothing changes — but even if it doesn’t, it still seems sad. Hot Air was formed by Michelle, Bryan Preston, and Allahpundit. And then there was one.

Although I like the mix of commenters here better, I still think Hot Air is the best blog on the Intertubes. Here’s to even greater success with Salem.

31 Responses to “Mediaite: Hot Air Sold to Salem”

  1. Salem needs to ax AP and promote Doctor Zero.

    Kentucky Colonel (04ad21)

  2. I just hope they keep on doing what they been doing. Hot Air = Great Source for conservative articles and viewpoints all put together in one easy spot to read, use and share. Rock On Hot Air!

    J. Raymond Wright (d83ab3)

  3. Kentucky Colonel:

    What a stupid thing to say.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  4. Patterico, I’m an avid reader of HA and visit there at least hourly. The fact that I think that AP is a weak sister, doesn’t make my statement stupid. If AP’s purpose is to generate hits, he does a great job. Otherwise, he brings little substance. That’s just my opinion. I am allowed that, no?

    Kentucky Colonel (04ad21)

  5. The more homogenized the internet becomes the more better it is cause of the diversity of how all the same it is I think.

    happyfeet (713679)

  6. Kentucky Colonel, I only read Hot Air because of Allahpundit. Ed’s is well, kind of boring. And Doctor Zero’s posts are always 5 paragraphs longer than they should be.

    AndrewGurn (891f6c)

  7. The thing about Hot Air is, doing all the pictures looks like a huge thankless chore.

    Where’s the intern we need some more damn pictures.

    That was my Allah impression.

    happyfeet (713679)

  8. At the risk of sounding like a suck up… Bar none Rick Moran, AP and Patterico are the most objective writers I’ve seen in the blogosphere

    vor2 (8e6b90)

  9. This should be a good match. The other Salem sites are hideous and unreadable, such as TownHall, such a mess. Hot Air is a lousy layout as well, hard to scan and read only items of interest. The smart-a** attitude wears real thin, it’s a preach to the choir approach.

    I used to read Ed Morrissey frequently as the Captain, but have dropped him because the Hot Air site is so unattractive and irritating.

    Seriously, while I regularly read many sites right, left, and center, Hot Air and TownHall have to be among the most off-putting in layout and format and general aesthetics. Hot Air comment section does not reflect well on its readership, but that is equally true at many political sites across the spectrum.

    Bart (6c6299)

  10. I think the Doctor Zero posts are the best there and especially today. I certainly hope they stay as far from TownHall as possible. The healthcare quackery drove me away. Human Events has the same thing.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  11. Salem broadcasts Bennett, Medved, Hewitt, Prager, and someone else, as well as owning Townhall now.

    Not sure what they are doing with this acquisition. Accumulating news aggregation sites — though I guess you wouldn’t call Hot Air just a news aggregator even though they do link to source materials — seems a curious business model.

    Frankly, I hardly visit Townhall any more — it was nice when it was a collection of opinion columnists, but now it seems like its only the collection of sites for the on-air personalities.

    shipwreckedcrew (3dde12)

  12. Gotta disagree, the Hot Air layout is excellent. What is not is their continuously closed registration process. I know why MM had to close her new user registration process (some sick ass trolls pop up when she opens it), but c’mon, HA.

    East Coast Chris (ded5f2)

  13. It’s funny how opinions can differ, Ed Morrissey is just about my favorite blogger, present company excluded. (AP, on the other hand, does a good job getting up interesting stories and headline links, keeping the site continuously fresh, but I frankly don’t care for his rather negative and/or snarky style. YMMV.)

    I’m concerned insofar as Townhall blogs are messy, hard to read, and slow to load. It took me a while to get used to Hot Air’s layout but I’m OK with it, and unlike Townhall it’s fast to load and clear and streamlined.

    Best wishes,

    Laura (9d1bb3)

  14. If AP’s purpose is to generate hits, he does a great job.

    If that is indeed what you think his purpose is, then by that measure alone he’s been doing a spectacular job. One of the primary underlying factors in terms of evaluating a site’s worth involves it’s total reach + time spent of those readers. That usually indicates a level of uniqueness among it’s content, so AP may be a main driver in why this site was sold in the first place.

    I agree that the layout is horrendous, but since it’s just been sold, who knows?

    Dmac (799abd)

  15. It doesn’t make any sense for a corporation to buy a blog. They can’t ban anyone without it seeming like a corporate agenda decision. If you express an opinion that happens to agree with the corporation’s agenda, you will look like a tool. Hot Air will be dead air within months.

    j curtis (5126e4)

  16. Sounds like many of us have the same thoughts about Townhall. Like Mike K., I find it hard to take seriously any person or entity that promotes “quakery”, or “get rich quick without hardly working” schemes as well.

    MD in Philly (d4668b)

  17. FWIW, I followed Ed Morrissey from Captain’s Quarters to Hot Air, but I liked his old site a lot better than I like Hot Air. I visit Hot Air regularly, but it’s down the list of my favorite blogs. At the top would be Power Line, followed by several others, including Ace of Spades, Protein Wisdom, Q&O, Betsy’s Page, and of course Patterico.

    Tim K (7e41e8)

  18. Salem needs to ax AP and promote Doctor Zero.


    Hot Air comment section does not reflect well on its readership

    Agreed again. It’s a good reflection of the bloggers there though. It usually works out that way – bloggers attract commenters in their own image.

    Hot Air was owned by Michelle Malkin. Both AP and Morrissey used to refer to her as “the boss”. So if it’s been sold, she sold it.

    Subotai (1e5127)

  19. Bar none Rick Moran, AP and Patterico are the most objective writers I’ve seen in the blogosphere

    Rick Moran? The man’s done a full Johnson. I’ve seen him posting at left-wing sites chortling at the “death of conservatism”.

    AP’s a former pro-WOT liberal looking a new niche in the GOP.

    Subotai (1e5127)

  20. “It usually works out that way – bloggers attract commenters in their own image.”

    And they call ME insulting?

    Triumph (b66fe4)

  21. Comment by Subotai — 2/17/2010 @ 11:21 am

    I like all 3 because they are objective and can be critical of both parties. Moran and AP get a lot of unfair criticism because they don’t try to get echo chambers established. I think Moran has the most in-depth commentary of almost anyone. He considers himself a conservative as well. AP is a master at keeping up with the news streams and Patterico does a stellar job of point by point analysis.
    Combine those three with the pundits at and I think I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on and the underlying issues.

    vor2 (c9795e)

  22. For context: Salem Communications Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates as a commercial radio broadcasting company in the United States. It owns and operates radio stations in metropolitan markets. The company operates radio business in formats, including Christian teaching and talk, contemporary Christian music, conservative news talk, and Spanish language Christian teaching and talk. It also owns and operates a national radio network that syndicates music, news, and talk to approximately 2,000 affiliated radio stations. In addition, the company provides online Christian content and streaming, as well as publishes Christian magazines and books targeting Christian audience. Further, it contracts with individual radio stations to sell air time to national advertisers. As of December 31, 2008, the company owned and operated 93 radio stations consisting of 27 FM stations and 66 AM stations. Salem Communications Corporation was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Camarillo, California. –source,

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  23. I think Moran has the most in-depth commentary of almost anyone. He considers himself a conservative as well.

    I don’t know what he considers himself to be, but if people who are fiscal and social liberals (like Moran) are now “conservative” then the word has been redefined and nobody notified me. Head over to the liberal website “The Moderate Voice” where he guest blogs and check out his offerings.

    Subotai (1e5127)

  24. Although I like the mix of commenters here better

    Very true. I love Hot Air but I stopped bothering to read their comments a long time ago, and stopped commenting myself even longer ago. The commenters seem to be hellbent on embodying every single lefty stereotype of conservatives.

    And I like Allah but I can’t stand Rick Moran. It’s a style thing, I guess – Allah’s snarky and sarcastic but I never feel like he’s looking down on his audience. Moran’s just plain arrogant and full of himself, constantly bemoaning, well, just about everything about conservatism. You really do get the feeling from him that the “Why I’m Leaving Conservatism” manifesto is just around the corner.

    radar (f11fb0)

  25. I love AP. As a recovering Democrat, I like to see a little humor and diversity in right wing blogs. MM’s blog is fine for the purity of vision thing.

    Don’t take my AP away!!!

    Patricia (e1047e)

  26. Wait till Salem’s competition, Winston Communications, gets hold of Ace of Space and Jawa Report!

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  27. DCSCA:

    I’m still not clear on something: Is Salem somehow associated with Christians?

    If so, maybe you and yahoo can get a couple of more “Christians” into the information just to make sure.

    Because, you know, it’s unlikely anyone who pays attention would know one of its founders is an evangelical who has supported Republican candidates in the past and, likely, still does so.

    Ag80 (f67beb)

  28. FWIW, imho:

    I think Ed and AP compliment each other well, both in terms of issue focus and style. Each has their fans and detractors, but each does what they do pretty well.

    I could critique HA’s design, but I find it far superior to TownHall.

    feets is absolutely correct about the pictures being a bitch.

    shipwreckedcrew is right in considering HA a news aggregator. I know that’s how AP views it.

    Indeed, that would be why I don’t know whether Doc Zero would be a good main blogger at HA. The Doc tends to deal with broader themes, not the news of the moment (though that may be a chicken-egg thing; I know I stay more away from breaking news at HA, assuming that Ed or AP will be covering it).

    I don’t know that the commenters reflect Ed and AP. I would say they reflect the commentariat at any site of that size.

    Relatedly, as I noted at the time I accepted the dual Greenroom offer, I like the idea of being able to write for both that audience and this one. I prefer the commenter mix here, but there is something to be said for trying to reach that broader spectrum, too.

    As for things like editorial control, I will say upfront that I don’t have any dirt on the details of the deal. However, logic suggests to me that Ed and AP would be considered “key personnel” in the deal, because what else was Michelle Malkin really selling? The inference would be that Salem would want to ensure their happiness. Otherwise, it’s the end of Season 3 of Mad Men.

    Karl (bfd329)

  29. Both Ed and AP are essential to HA working. Ed’s posts are usually the more substantial ones, where AP is the traffic generator. Come for AP, stay for Ed, sort of.

    Anyways, kudos to the lot.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  30. I don’t know that the commenters reflect Ed and AP. I would say they reflect the commentariat at any site of that size.

    Commenting there is not open to anyone, it’s by registration. Registration is only allowed during certain time windows. And commenting is moderated even after registration. So I think it’s fair to say that the commenting there reflects the outlook of Ed and AP.

    Subotai (93ecef)

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