Conservative columnist Matt Lewis has announced, via his Twitter feed, that he is leaving Townhall.com. The split is mutual and amicable, and the world will continue to enjoy his wit and wisdom on the pages of Politics Daily, but his departure from Townhall completes a mini-exodus of influential commentators from the site. What’s left isn’t all that pretty.
Matt now departs a Townhall bench that used to include influential young conservatives like Lewis, Mary Katherine Ham, and Amanda Carpenter. Carpenter has moved on to the Washington Times, and Ham is now a regular Fox News contributor. All three maintain a regular presence on cable news panels.
In their place, Townhall has increasingly relied on less mainstream (to put it politely) columnists for their original content. Christian broadcasting company Salem Communications purchased Townhall in 2006, and after this brief run at relevance, seem increasingly eager to put their stamp on the site. After recently borrowing $300 million, the stakes for Salem are high.
Lewis, a former colleague of mine, remains grateful to Townhall, which afforded him many opportunities like covering the 2008 RNCC. He tells me “Townhall remains one of the most important outlets for conservative news and commentary. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but three years is a long time, and in this business, blog years are like dog years.”