As you may be aware, the Drudge Report (drudgereport.com), though featuring material from sources across the political spectrum, used to be a strongly pro-Trump website. However, over the past year, it has changed dramatically and, while still featuring a number of conservative links, is pretty much all anti-Trump all the time.
So, has this affected readership? Let’s see.
From Keith J. Kelly’s article for the New York Post:
The Drudge Report posted a 45 percent decline in web traffic in September as the site alienated its core readers by turning against President Trump ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The data — derived from comScore, which tracks the industry — were released in a report by TheRighting, a website that analyzes traffic to right-leaning websites. TheRighting told The Post that the Drudge Report had 1,291,000 unique visitors in September, according to data supplied by comScore, down from 2,340,000 in the same month a year ago.
September’s eye-popping decline marks the ninth month in a row that the political news aggregation website run by reclusive founder Matt Drudge has seen traffic fall, TheRighting said.
The plunge comes at a time when demand for political news has been soaring on both sides of the aisle leading up to a highly charged presidential election. And experts say it’s directly tied to the Drudge Report’s sudden and unexpected switch earlier this year from a conservative-leaning news outlet to one that’s decidedly anti-Trump.
There, I would think, is your answer. The virtually 180 degree turnaround by Drudge, apparently, has alienated a significant part of its pro-Trump readership…without generating anywhere near the presumably hoped-for anti-Trump folks it might have attracted.
My take? If this change in direction was done out of principle, my imaginary hat is off to drudgereport.com. It isn’t often you see a business – and, yes, this website is a business – take a major hit on principle.
But if it was done exclusively or primarily as a business decision? Let’s just say whoever had the final word is right up there with the guys who came up with the Edsel, and changed the formula of original Coca-Cola.