Open thread: Hot Air acquisition

posted at 9:30 am on February 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Many Hot Air readers have begun responding to the following Mediaite story:

CPAC hasn’t even officially started and already its making news. Mediaite has learned that leading center-right web site Hot Air has been acquired by Salem Communications for an undisclosed sum. Sources close to the deal claim that Michelle Malkin, the conservative pundit and sole owner of Hot Air, has been in talks with Salem for some time, but the announcement was timed to coincided with the Conservative Political Action Conference, which opens tomorrow in Washington D.C. …

Salem Communication defines itself as a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. Perhaps their most relevant property to this transaction is Townhall.com which claims itself to be the #1 conservative website. The “About Us” section of its website claims “Townhall.com pulls together political commentary and analysis from over 100 leading columnists and opinion leaders, research from 100 partner organizations, conservative talk-radio and a community of millions of grassroots conservatives.”

I’m going to open a thread on this in order to keep the rest of our comment threads on topic.  Neither Allahpundit nor I will have any official comment on this until tomorrow, but if you read our Twitter feeds last night, you already knew that a big announcement about Hot Air’s business status was on the way.  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.  Other than that …. have at it!

Update: Michelle will be posting something about the acquisition soon, too, either here or at michellemalkin.com, or both.

Breaking on Hot Air

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Best wishes for continued success!

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Ed and AP bought and sold like pieces of meat.

uknowmorethanme on February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Congrats!

uknowmorethanme on February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Thanks to readers like me.

Punditpawn on February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

hmmmmmmmmmm

jp on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I kind of figured that a transfer of ownership was in the works. Congratulations and continued success.

Physics Geek on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Ed and AP bought and sold like pieces of meat.

uknowmorethanme on February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Grade A, beta-male beefcake.

Trent1289 on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Congrats?!

Torch on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Say hi to Prager!

abobo on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

evangelical & religious like Pat Robertson? or the Pope?

so if i’m pro-choice, am i still welcome here?

kelley in virginia on February 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Change!
Hope!

…..

I don’t like townhall.com.

Skandia Recluse on February 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Salem Communication defines itself as a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.

So why did they buy HotAir? :-D

SouthernGent on February 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

well, you gotta admit, we are the best.

kelley in virginia on February 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Congrats & I hope this transaction results in increased success both personally & professionally

mctowler on February 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

townhall is very complicated to post. i jsut gave up after 4 password changes.

kelley in virginia on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

free Iphones for everybody!!!!!!!!

windansea on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Welcome back to corporate America, Ed and AP.

First thing to go — Allah’s atheism posts.

DaydreamBeliever on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I’m glad you two are still going to be here. You two do a great job.

Brat4life on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Will AP get a hump-bot budget?????

Come on Ed, if either you are AP leave HotAir won’t be the same and it’ll force me to get more work done during the day. I can’t have that. ;)

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Oh great. Now you’re gonna go all corporate on us.

:)

mesquito on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I very much enjoy HA so please dont screw it up =p. I’ll even single out Allah as one of my favorite bloggers overall not just here. Good work everyone and keep it up, or make it even better!

Dash on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

cha-ching!

BrianA on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Congratulations! Ain’t capitalism grand!

Trafalgar on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

HA is my favorite blog…I’m a HA addict! What makes you guys stand out from the crowd is your in depth reporting and research. You don’t just throw up a link and some snarky comments, that isn’t blogging IMHO. Long live HA!

scalleywag on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Ah, capitalism. Tell Michelle Congrats for creating such a successful website that she can now sell it for profit. Good for her.

ExSubNuke on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

townhall is very complicated to post. i jsut gave up after 4 password changes.

kelley in virginia on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM
_________________

Maybe, but it’s a treasure trove of information and opinion.

uknowmorethanme on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Well it’s no Google, but congrats!

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

l

eading center-right web site Hot Air

hahaha “center”?

jgapinoy on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Just as long as we are allowed to stick it to the politician and pundits who like to stick it to us, I have no qualms about the change.

pilamaye on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I bet Allahpundit’s bummed…..
He’s been wishing for a google buyout.

rslancer14 on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Is there a subscription wall in our future?

meci on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I’m a liberal who loves this site! (And I’m a liberal who can’t stand Obama, so you can see how I got here…)

Sure hope a change in ownership doesn’t change the site.

lizzieillinois on February 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I like the Salem radio guys [Medved, Prager, Hewitt] and I hope that they leave this site alone. AP and Ed do a fine job.

I hope Salem [a rather religious outfit] can deal with AP’s stance on the subject.

toliver on February 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Free enterprise is definately cool. Hope it works out in the future. I have certainly enjoyed HA to date!

chaswv on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

can you afford that golden ipod now?

rob verdi on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Congratulation to Michelle, Ed & “the mysterious” Allahpundit!

rbj on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Cool, as long as nothing changes. Congratulations.

Geronimo on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

I’m gonna organize a revolt,

a Hot Air Tea Party,okay,okay

its crazy talk!!

I do hope,Hot Air will remain tickety-boo!!

Congrats Capt’n Ed,and AllahPundit!:)

canopfor on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

In the spirit of Allahpundit:

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

therightscoop on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Please hire oakland to create graphs.

darwin on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Side note, I guess that’s why Hot Air had a corporate meeting in Denver a few weeks ago.

Ed, AP. Please DO NOT change anything! Hot Air is fine the way it is.

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM

So, Michelle Malkin is no longer the boss???????????

OmahaConservative on February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Awesome. Good job Hotair!

Theworldisnotenough on February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

I bet AllahPundit’s outta there within 60 days. Being affiliated with Townhall.com and any organization remotely “Christian” does not sound like his kind of gig.

DaydreamBeliever on February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Congrats, MM, AP and Ed!

Hope this operates to enlarge the influence of the Conservative Movement on American politics and culture.

petefrt on February 17, 2010 at 9:39 AM

So Hot Air sold out, huh?

Man.

It used to be all about the music. Now it’s all about the Benjamins.

;-)

Good Lt on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Seriously Ed, this place has been the source for the real news about global warming. I may not always agree, but you guys perform a real journalistic service here.

abobo on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Salem Communication defines itself as a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.

Does this mean that Allah going to embrace our Lord and Saviour and stop going to strip clubs?

David2.0 on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

How much do we all get in the deal?

Darksean on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Wonderful news! I’ve been following Ed since his Captain’s Quarters days and I’m so glad to see his increasing success.

Oh, yeah, that Eeyore guy too, I guess. :-)

bonnie_ on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

but if you read our Twitter feeds last night,

Nothing on allahpundit’s twitter that I saw so far. Saw this announcement on Instapundit.

Regardless, congratulations. Hope this is a good move for all concerned- Michelle, Ed & ap, and the content/commenters.

cs89 on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Ah, capitalism. Tell Michelle Congrats for creating such a successful website that she can now sell it for profit. Good for her.

ExSubNuke on February 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

How ’bout it. The Boss cashes out before the capital-gains tax rate goes up.

BuckeyeSam on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I truly hope the “acquisition” is transparent to your “customers”. This is the place I visit every day to learn the important happenings in the world.

Good luck to all involved. I hope the transaction meets everyone’s objectives.

mike in NV on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Maybe Playboy will b uy Ace of Spades?

Theworldisnotenough on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

so youre gonna start paying us for tips now right?

offroadaz on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

So why did they buy HotAir? :-D

SouthernGent on February 17, 2010 at 9:34 AM

You jest but… really; is “Christian” and “Family Oriented” really HotAir’s MO?

Lehosh on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I’m a liberal who loves this site!

lizzieillinois on February 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM

lizzieillinois:A Liberal eh! And your name again!!

(I’m kidding you,welcome!):)

canopfor on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.

If they don’t censor Prager’s Judaism–not to mention his encouraging cigar smoking–I don’t think they’ll censor AP’s misguided religious beliefs.

jgapinoy on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I remember the startup of HA. The Boss was talking about how all of them (Bryan was there then, not Ed yet) had maxed out their credit cards to get the site going. So this is a true success story.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Cha Ching?

Hope Ed & AP make a few extra bucks off of this acquisition.

joedoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Capitalism!

reppac122 on February 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

I don’t know if this is good news or not. I need more information.

and that both AP and I will continue being part of Hot Air for the foreseeable future.

That’s too much of an open door…… If either Ed or AP leave, then what Lance said.

Come on Ed, if either you are AP leave HotAir won’t be the same and it’ll force me to get more work done during the day. I can’t have that. ;)

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

It just wouldn’t be the same and I’m okay with how it is now. *sigh* C’est la vie and business yada yada I suppose.

conservative pilgrim on February 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Ed and AP bought and sold like pieces of meat.

uknowmorethanme on February 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM

They have to feed their families, don’t they?

Congrats, guys. Hopefully the content will remain high quality. and the only change we’ll see is more ads (not that I’m looking forward to more ads, but it will mean more revenue pouring in).

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Successful businesses sell businesses because they believe they can better direct their energies and the capital infusion elsewhere (there are other reasons, but I think this one fits).
Businesses buy businesses because they believe they can make a profit. That’s a good thing.
Saying that the “…current mission and direction will not change…” doesn’t address what will change. How about a hint or two in that area, Ed. Your refusal to comment on this (“What I can tell you now…”) does give one pause.

Extrafishy on February 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM

“Evil” capitalism strikes again…..

Hog Wild on February 17, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Cha Ching?

Hope Ed & AP make a few extra bucks off of this acquisition.

joedoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

+100

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Don’t go the way of Little Green Dumbballs. Just kidding good luck with what ever comes up. We should revive “thing we should buy when Google buys us”.

jlemieu1 on February 17, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Ahhhh, the free market. How refreshing!

t.ferg on February 17, 2010 at 9:43 AM

So does this mean that you can put a link up for Michelle Malkin over on the “Right Channels” to the right? I’d appreciate that! Always wondered why she wasn’t linked before…

SnowSun on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Maybe Playboy will b uy Ace of Spades?

Theworldisnotenough on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I think Little Green Footballs is more their speed.

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I remember the startup of HA. The Boss was talking about how all of them (Bryan was there then, not Ed yet) had maxed out their credit cards to get the site going. So this is a true success story.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I remember reading about the launch of Hot Air on MM’s site too. I don’t know why I never registered or read HA until a couple of years after the launch. ??? I loved VENT though. Watched it all the time.

conservative pilgrim on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

I fear this will not end well.

tsj017 on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Congratulations to Michelle Malkin and the Ed and Allah for making this a hot product to sell.

I am concerned though that Hot Air is going to change. Will Salem be cool with Lorien-like posts? Or fat Meggy Mac posts? Or writing douche bag? Will we lose Duuuuude headlines?

myrenovations on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

If only KP wasn’t engage then Allah could have shown her that he is Alpha-lite.

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values.

Bye Allah. Been nice knowing ya.

Darth Executor on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Hope they don’t kill us with pop-ups and too many bells & whistles. The clean, streamlined approach of HotAir has always appealed to me. Something about TownHall.com totally freaks out my work computer. Even at home it has to switch over to compatibility view.

joedoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I am concerned though that Hot Air is going to change. Will Salem be cool with Lorien-like posts? Or fat Meggy Mac posts? Or writing douche bag? Will we lose Duuuuude headlines?

myrenovations on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

In other words–censorship.

conservative pilgrim on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Ed, I wikied your new bosses (like you haven’t) and they pass the smell test. Real deal conservative company thriving in 2010 and getting bigger thanks in part to talent like yours and loyal readership like ours. Now onwards to more success.

RepubChica on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I hope AP gets a piece of the pie…you too Ed, but AP has been around a long time and put up with a lot more then you.
Congratulations on the sale, I am sure it was profitable and I hope very beneficial to you guys.

right2bright on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Ed and Allah,

Congrats. Hope you two can stay out of Obama’s “revolving” tax brackets…..

Rovin on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

I’m inevitably skeptical about this change. Might be fine. Might not.

We’ll see.

If not, does this open up new opportunities for others?

rogersnowden on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Can I have that pony now? :D LOL

Congratulations! If you’re all happy with this deal, I’m happy for you!

capejasmine on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Does this mean that Allah going to embrace our Lord and Saviour and stop going to strip clubs?

David2.0 on February 17, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I don;t know about that, but it does help explain the tightening of the no cussing policy lately.

Anyway, I hope Michelle is getting paid a good sum. I hope Ed and AP get more cash, and I hope Salem makes plenty in the long run. Obscene profits for everyone!

Good to get a deal done before capital gains and other anti business anti wealth creation taxes go up.

forest on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Well as long as they go by the “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” philosophy I am all about whatever gives Hot Air success. I miss Vent though, anyone remember MM reading the night before Christmas? What a great day that was!

gator70 on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Hopefully the site gets redesigned(not by the people who designed townhall.com) and there is a new moderation policy…

ninjapirate on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

I am a HA addict. Hope there’s no big changes, but you know there will be under new ownership. If it does, and not in a good way, maybe I can finally get something done around my house!

silvernana on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

I remember the startup of HA. The Boss was talking about how all of them (Bryan was there then, not Ed yet) had maxed out their credit cards to get the site going. So this is a true success story.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on February 17, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Yeah, oh the memories. Even though Michelle won’t own Hot Air anymore, maybe Salem could pay her to do Vent episodes. I do miss those dearly.

Lance Murdock on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Hope they don’t kill us with pop-ups and too many bells & whistles. The clean, streamlined approach of HotAir has always appealed to me. Something about TownHall.com totally freaks out my work computer. Even at home it has to switch over to compatibility view.

joedoe on February 17, 2010 at 9:45 AM

The beauty of HotAir’s design is it’s simplicity.

blatantblue on February 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM

As long as they don’t come in and start moving the furniture around, redecorate and mess up the place. More power to you. Hopefully it will make HA bigger and better.

MHoffpauir on February 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Congrats to all involved. I hope the site doesn’t change one bit, even the trolls, concerned and otherwise. This is the first place I go to when I turn on my PC each morning, and the last site I look at each night.

NebCon on February 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

AP, your prayers have been answered….

right2bright on February 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Congrats! I have been around since Day ONE! Your hard work, dedication, creativity and committment to interesting, timely and important posts sets you apart!

AP is always interesting (and purposely provacative!)

Ed’s posts are thoughtful and well researched overall (except for his mancrush on Pawlenty which is getting OLD)

The bloggers from the Green Room are almost always a good read.

Your committment to QUALITY (and the humpbot!) has brought you to this point. WELL DONE!

labwrs on February 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Michelleeeeeeeeeee…Michelleeeeeeeeeeeeee…(Say it like Marlon Brando’s Stellaaaaaaaaaaaa…Stellaaaaaaaaaa in A Streetcar Named Desire.)

rich801 on February 17, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Dude.

Lemme hold a dollah.

greggriffith on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Hopefully the site gets redesigned(not by the people who designed townhall.com) and there is a new moderation policy…

Oh yeah, and bring back bethany… and we need threaded comments, not flat…

ninjapirate on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Congrats to Michelle, Ed, AP, the Green Room host, and those that came before. HA wouldn’t be what it is today without you all.

Dusty on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

..any jobs saved or created? Sounds like this could up the OB’s tot board to +2!

LEBA on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

I see what’s going on here. It’s a trap to convert all of us back-slidden non-believers! You get us addicted to the site, then force us to convert. Evil corporate bashtards*! Rail against the machine!!1!!!11111

/

*I figure I’ll cuss while I can :-|

SouthernGent on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Conservatives=Capitalism

bhawknine on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

I think Little Green Footballs is more their speed.

UltimateBob on February 17, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Little Green “Salem is wingnut creationist theocrats!!!” Meltdown in 5…4…3…

Pablo on February 17, 2010 at 9:48 AM

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