Last week, with two high-profile acquisitions, a conservative media company catapulted itself from successful but largely below-the-radar company to a player with a portfolio that could make it the next news empire on the right.
Salem Communications, which got its start in the 1980s in talk radio, formally announced its purchase of Twitchy, the conservative social media tracker founded and run by Michelle Malkin. It also reportedly finalized a deal to acquire Red State, best known for the punditry of its editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, and several affiliated properties in January. Both moves were first reported by BuzzFeed. (Politico had earlier reported that Salem was "in talks" to make the purchase).
The acquisitions marry RedState -- inextricably linked to its editor-in-chief, who has said, among other things, that female breadwinners are antithetical to nature -- and Twitchy, which trolls Twitter for viral fodder like #MeninistTwitter, with Salem and its vast radio empire that includes the official radio program of the United States Concealed Carry Association.
In the insular world of conservative media, those are a pair of mammoth additions in less than a week. And in the eyes of Salem's competitors, it could spark an arms race of acquisitions. The kind of media ownership consolidation that some on the right decry in the mainstream media seems to be now seeping into their world as well. Small scrappy start-ups are suddenly being swallowed up by more established corporations with a lot of money to spend.
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