The Future That Never Was

'Voice of Intelligent Conservatism' Has Slightly More Than 6,000 Subscribers

The American Conservative averages just over 6,000 subscribers per issue, according to its latest circulation figures, a disappointing showing for the Patrick Buchanan-founded magazine that was hailed as the "conservative future" last November.

The magazine—which according to the Huffington Post had "seized its moment" earlier this year by, among other things, slashing its production schedule, increasing its subscription price, and sharing office space with the liberal American Prospect—averaged 6,447 subscribers per issue between September 2012 and September 2013. The last issue published before the circulation numbers were released had 5,371 subscribers.

In comparison, the Weekly Standard had an average circulation of 103,327 over the past 12 months, according to its latest circulation numbers.

The circulation of The American Conservative, which some critics have condemned as neither truly American nor conservative, appears to have dropped from previous years. The New York Review of Magazines pegged the publication’s circulation at 12,000 in 2010. In January the New York Times reported that the magazine had a circulation of 8,000.

The Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone reported last March that the magazine had hoped to capitalize off of a libertarian shift in the Republican Party.

"Both Rand [Paul]'s filibuster and his father's presidential campaigns, especially the reaction Ron Paul got when he challenged Rudy Giuliani over 9/11, show there's a market for a civil-libertarian conservatism, definitely one that's critical of the War on Terror," American Conservative editor Daniel McCarthy told the Huffington Post. "It's a big and growing part of our readership."

The magazine went through a rocky period over the summer when it parted ways with long-time publisher Ron Unz. Unz now publishes an independent site, "The Unz Review," which links to blog items on "human biodiversity" as well as the foreign policy musings of Juan Cole.

David Brooks wrote that the American Conservative had "become one of the more dynamic spots on the political web" in a New York Times column headlined "The Conservative Future," last November.

The latest issue of the American Conservative features a critique of the Gettysburg Address; a column by Greek shipping heir Taki Theodoracopulos; a review of Max Blumenthal's anti-Zionist book (headline: "Will Israel Go Fascist?"); and a piece called "JFK Warmonger."

The traffic figures for Taki Mag were unavailable at press time.