Monday, January 9, 2023

Prominent Think Tank Journal Shutting Down

Here is more from Politico:

The National Interest, a prominent journal run by a right-leaning foreign policy think tank, is shutting down its print edition after running into severe financial problems, according to four current and former magazine staffers familiar with the matter.

The bimonthly magazine housed in the Center for the National Interest had a nearly four-decaderun as a leading national security product, publishing such seminal works as FRANCIS FUKUYAMA’s “End of History” essay.

But current editorial management was unwilling to incur debts to keep the print edition alive, according to one of the people, though the publication will continue for now as a website. Circulation for the hard copy was already down to a couple thousand subscribers, a drop from almost 10,000 in the 1990s, according to a current magazine staffer. The people were granted anonymity to candidly discuss internal matters at the magazine and think tank.

The think tank has long had financial issues, according to current and former staffers and a review of public documents.

According to tax filings, it operated at a loss of $1 million to $2 million in every year from 2016 to 2020, except in 2019, when it made $300,000 in profit.

Three current and former magazine staffers and another person familiar with the magazine and the center complained about [CNI President Dimitri] Simes’ focus on hosting a television show on Russian state-run TV.

Simes had further caused controversies for the center for espousing increasingly pro-Russian rhetoric, according to seven people familiar with the center.


The president of the think tank, Dimitri Simes, retired on Dec. 31.  Politico also notes that Dov Zakheim, a top Defense Department official in the second Bush administration, resigned from the think tank's board in May after Simes continued to visit Russia and appear on state TV after the invasion of Ukraine.

Now, CNI has only around five total staffers - four of whom are dedicated to the magazine's website.  Several years ago it had around 20 staffers.