RedState & Eagle Publishing: Growing The Conservative Movement Online

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Today marks the dawn of a new and exciting era for RedState.  

In the beginning, when RedState was just a concept discussed over beers in a dive bar in Virginia, we all thought this idea could be a success.  We believed there was a glaring need for online community and leadership on the right.  We believed a site devoted to the conservative principles of life and individual freedom, one that welcomed individuals from throughout the political spectrum, could lead the way in building a new online grassroots providing support for strong, thoughtful, pro-American values.  And we believed that, with hard work from contributors and committed people behind the scenes, RedState could become a unique place, an influential voice, and help achieve change for the common good. 

To our amazement, thanks to you, this concept became a reality.  Thanks to you, our readers and contributors, RedState today has established itself as a unique and respected online community.  Thanks to you, RedState is a place full of smart and eloquent opinions, leadership on defining policy issues, in-depth discussion with political leaders, and community organization on behalf of the values we hold dear. 

But we believe there is so much more we can do.  We have lots of knobs we want to turn, but we lack the resources to turn them.  So, for much of the past year, we have explored ways to grow RedState and take the site to a new level.

Read on . . .

Today, we agreed to a purchase agreement for the sale of the RedState network of sites effective January 2, 2007, to Eagle Publishing, Inc. Eagle Publishing, based in Washington D.C., owns Human Events, Regnery Publishing, the Conservative Book Club, and has long been a respected leader on the right.  

For those of you who may be concerned that this new agreement will lead to changes for RedState, don't worry.  While RedState will continue to take steps to improve the site, there are no plans for significant changes.  RedState will remain a unique property within the Eagle family.  Along with this agreement, Eagle has agreed to keep RedState intact along with the editorial content we and you value.  Erick Erickson will continue to be the Editor of the site, and all the writers you've come to appreciate will still be here.

We believe that, with the resources of a committed and innovative company behind it, RedState can take the next leap forward at this critical time in our nation's history. This purchase allows for many things that the RedState model of the past two and a half years didn't - including more full-time staff, stronger support mechanisms and greater grassroots building.  

You'll learn more about all the details in the coming weeks and months - but we are confident that this agreement is the best step for RedState's future, and the future of the online conservative community. 

Thank you for your continued support, your readership, and your participation.  These are exciting days, challenging days, and we are glad to face them with you, as we continue to aspire for great things ahead - for RedState, for conservatism, and for America.  As Ronald Reagan once said, "we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams."

[DIRECTORS' NOTE:] For more information, please contact Erick Erickson, CEO of RedState, Inc., at erick@redstate.com

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If you always find yourself arguing the exceptions rather than the rule you just might be rapidly sliding down your own slippery slope to irrelevance. -CommonCents

We are but warriors for the working-day.

I just posted our story on HumanEvents.com.

June July (?) 12, I think.

June by Erick

It was June 2004. If I was a better deleter of email I would not be so sure.

Sorry about the mistake.

I remember finding Krempasky and Redstate via Rathergate back in September '04. I've been a semi-lurker since then, but I did show up at Krempasky's (I think it was) for the first Presidential debate later that month.

Greetings to our new, Great Beltway Overlords! Long have we admired your wisdom, your bravery, your élan, your dashing wit, and the way you can sometimes cut around that Dreadfully Challenging part of the Beltway by taking 50! With your superior Beltway Warriors and the sort of keen insight that comes of having the best and brightest of all 50 states (and territories! and the Blessed District itself!), we shall truly conquer all!

For the Glory of RedState! For the Glory of Eagle! For the Glory of the Red Eagle! Deus lo volt!

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

I second the welcome to our new Beltway Overlords. Their decision to keep me around as Supreme Leader of RedState shows their great wisdom.

And I mean that in a good way...

Being a sellout is sweet, because you make a lot of money and when you have money, you don't have to hang out with poor a** losers like you guys. Screw you guys, I'm going home - Thomas Eric Cartman

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

I don't know what to add to that, except why was I singled out?

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

:) by Darin H

I was quoting you, but realized you stole it from Cartman...

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

It's just too easy to get you :)

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, the other third is covered by Champ Bailey

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

Was it Trey Parker or Matt Stone who is the voice of Eric Cartman?

Not over the fact that you sold (this is how capitalism is supposed to work after all) but that you never gave any indications that you were going to sell. Unless this was a multi-million dollar sale, I'm sure there are people here who would have bought the network in whole or in part. At the very least additional offers might have gotten you guys a higher price

Now I really regret not emailing you guys over the summer about the possibility of purchasing Confirm Them.

Well by Erick

It had not been our intention to sell, but when we were exploring the best ways to grow RedState so we could fulfill our mission better, Eagle was and is a very natural fit for us.

I'm not doubting that RedState won't benefit from this (if you were looking for a quick sale you probably would've sold out a lot sooner). Just as someone who makes a substantial part of his living from buying, selling, and managing websites it would've been nice to know that my favorite website was on the market.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

"Unless this was a multi-million dollar sale, I'm sure there are people here who would have bought the network in whole or in part."

If it was not a multimillion dollar deal, they probably left money on the table, and certainly made a mistake not shopping the deal to more possible purchasers.

The internet market is red hot right now, and especially for user generated content sites with a bit of networking thrown in, which is what Redstate is. The founder of Facebook just turned down a $1 billion offer from Yahoo that would have valued each user of the site at somewhere above $150. YouTube sold for $1.7 billion with a per user value more like $250. MySpace sold for $22 to $50 a user a year or so back, and lawsuits have been filed that the sale price was too cheap.

Those sites are bigger sites, which makes a difference, and focused on the youth demographic, which makes a difference, but you get the idea. The focused demographic at RedState arguably adds to the value, because it is one of a very small handful of places where you can reach conservative activists in large numbers, although the smaller size definitely hurts the valuation.

But let's figure. Looking at the Alexa numbers and the level of activity on the site, let's conservatively estimate 100,000 users across the whole network of sites. Let's take a price at the low end of valuations, $25. That makes it a $2.5 million sale. If it's 200,000 users (including all those lurkers) and the valuation is $100 per user, you are looking at $20 million.

Did they get that? Maybe not. I've bought and sold seven figure sites as well, and it can be very hard to project prices from the sales of the big nine and ten figure sales, even for comparable sites. Things like traffic trends, current revenues, market leadership, quality of the team, all play a role in getting to the actual valuation. But if they took less than a couple of million, and did not shop the site aggressively to test the market, they made a big mistake that they and their children's children may rue.

Eagle Publishing is a great company, and I enjoy reading my copy of Human Events every week. Let's hope they can translate the Red State model into a money-making enterprise of some sort--and not just with ad dollars!

Blogging at RespectfullyRepublican.com

I remember Redstate.com was organized as a non-profit of some sort, how does the sale affect this, or did I miss a change?

Congrats!

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Alan Greenspan

IIRC, Redstate.org was organized as a not-for-profit 527 in the summer of 2004. Redstate 2.0 followed a change in domain to Redstate.com, a for-profit company, in the summer of 2006. (I don't have the exact dates in front of me.)

Proposal: All current users of the Redstate community who were registered prior to January 1, 2005 should be issued obscene amounts of stock options. After all, we survived the "Rath of Thomas." ;)

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"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

And I like your idea on the stock options. Of course they may want to devise the formula based on perceived quality of contributions/comments, in which case some of us may quietly back away from the topic...

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. - Alan Greenspan

"Lefty Trolls" should relish the opportunity to "give their fair share," in the form of large, lump-sum contributions, directly to Redstate just for the honor of having posting privileges extended to those on the other side of the Great Divide.™ ;)

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

With the Eagle family now ready to take control, I hope that Redstate will continue on in its current direction. By that, I mean that I hope it will not just be a pay-for-play site, as seemingly advanced above by bellpe (If I misunderstood you, my bad). I hope that it will continue as a free site for debate and dialogue with a conservative viewpoint. I feel that would be best, and would allow more conservatives to take part, rather than simply reading other people's posts. Furthermore, that would free up additional money for us to support conservative candidates down the road.

Don't be afraid to see what you see.-Ronald Reagan

For more common sense conservatism, visit the Show Me Conservatism blog.

>>>>In the beginning, when RedState was just a concept discussed over beers in a dive bar in Virginia

So much that is right with the world came from dive bars, particularly those in The Commonwealth of Virginia. I'm thinking someone with better poetry skills than moi could turn this into a toast somehow.

2006 is done, 2008 is another day and another fight

A neighbor had helped me move a very large sofa with his truck that day. Late that night, I was on my way home and saw my neighbor's truck outside this seedy bar I'd surely never have visited otherwise. I figured I'd buy him a beer for his help.

A few minutes later, my wife walked in the door with a group of her co-workers from the late shift at her second job at a nearby store (yep, a single girl with a second job impressed me). I recognized her from her place of business. So I went over and struck up a conversation. And my deal worked out great too!

I guess lots of good things happen in dive bars. And greasy spoons too. But that's another story.

"It never hurts to remind those who would vote for your opponent to vote...on Wednesday" - TMYN Blog

>>>>I guess lots of good things happen in dive bars. And greasy spoons too.

It's a shame I can't reccommend it.

2006 is done, 2008 is another day and another fight

This move will make RedState en even bigger player in conservative political circles, and for that, we will all benefit. Thanks to the editors and the movers and shakers who put this deal together. I am confident that Erick and all those to whom the original RedState idea belongs will do everything to maintain the site as the familial place that it is.

Onward and upward!

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Develop alternatives to existing policies and keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman

gotta run. My chauffeur is bringing my Bentley around now.

Make sure the shiny new chain saw is in the trunk

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

NO BLOG FOR OIL!!!!!

__________________________________________________________
Thou art the Great Cat, the avenger of the Gods, and the judge of words...-Inscription on the Royal Tombs at Thebes

Excellent

about redstate not winning a webblog award. this helps. congratulations.

Having tasted a life wasted, I ain't ever going back again.
-E.V.

Yeah, I wonder how much dKos is worth. (A lot as a loony bin, IMO.)

Congrats from me, too. I also love Human Events and recently joined the CBC when I ordered Steyn's "America Alone." (No one else had it.) RedState is in good company. Eagle sounds like good people and a good fit, and the conservative movement definitely needs more oomph. Doldrums doesn't begin to describe us.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Gee, does this mean a potential payday for extraordinary articles? After all, we expect you will share the wealth, you gilded lords O' blogsphere.

By the way I guess under title 17, we just reverted to full ownership/copyrights over post sale works.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

Gee, meant to say pre sale works.

Any good IP lawyer would have caught that one.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid." --Friedrich Nietzsche

Since this is a "community", I expect you mean we in a collective sense.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

Two of the best sources for conservative news and commentary join forces...it can only get better!

Thanks for all you do...keep up the fight...keep the faith...and I look forward to reading both EVERY day!

Merry Christmas to all!

Saulius "Saul" Anuzis
Chairman
Michigan Republican Party

Who will play the directors?

The longer we dwell on our misfortunes the greater is their power to harm us - Voltaire

Russell Crowe being outside of the budget.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

will be sent a script...

 
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