Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Syndicates: A Marked Surge in Right-Leaning Cols?

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Syndicates: A Marked Surge in Right-Leaning Cols?

Article excerpt

With a Democratic administration at work in Washington and President Obama's conservative opponents looking to make their voices heard in opposition to many of his policies and proposals, one might assume that could translate into an increased appetite for syndicated content aimed at right-leaning readers.

The truth, it would seem, depends upon whom you ask.

An E&P survey of the major syndicates found not all of them are experiencing a renaissance in conservative content. Sure, columnists catering to the Right are as necessary as those on the Left in achieving balance on the Op-Ed page -- and there are certainly those who are clearly enjoying the opportunity to rail against the White House. But that doesn't mean more papers want the Right stuff.

United Media's NEA Service, the package that includes puzzles, horoscopes, food and humor columns, editorial cartoons, opinion columns and other offerings, recently conducted a survey of its client editors and found those editors wanted more conservative columns, says Lisa Klem Wilson, senior vice president/ general manager of syndicates. An ensuing search yielded Byron York, former White House correspondent for National Review and now chief political correspondent for The Examiner in Washington.

York, Wilson says, is "willing to criticize Republicans when they need to be criticized," and he's one conservative columnist who does the reporting to back up his points. "Editors want someone who's actually providing a thoughtful point of view, someone who's credible," she adds.

At Creators Syndicate, "We're seeing a surge in sales of conservative columnists and editorial cartoons," says National Sales Director Margo Sugrue. "Pretty much anyone who's critical of the Obama administration is in great demand." Creators' bullpen of right-leaning columnists includes Linda Chavez, Robert Novak, Thomas Sowell and Ben Shapiro, as well as Bill O'Reilly. "With the glowing coverage in the media of the current administration, conservatives are eager to find an outlet that expresses their point of view," she asserts.

Not everyone, however, agrees with the assessment that conservative content is hot these days. "If it's a trend, I haven't noticed it," says Alan Shearer, executive director and general manager of the Washington Post Writers Group. He tells E&P that people always used to say that if a Democrat were to be elected president, it would make for good business for conservative writers. …

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