The Washington liberal politics and policy magazine edited by Kit Rachlis, the former Los Angeles magazine editor, is in financial trouble. "I'm extremely hopeful that we'll be able to raise the money," Rachlis told Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post. Nonetheless, staffers were told last week that if donors don't cough up about $500,000, there was a possibility that "the Prospect's last issue as currently constituted would be the July/August issue." Editor-at-large Harold Meyerson sounds a more dire note in a fundraising appeal this afternoon:
I have some bad news: As some of you may have seen in today’s Huffington Post, there’s a real chance that The American Prospect – my employer for the past nearly 11 years – may have to fold at the end of May. The irony here is that the Prospect only recently hired a superb publisher (Jay Harris, who turned Mother Jones around during his two-decade tenure there) and the best editor we’ve ever had, Kit Rachlis. The magazine, if I say so myself, has never been better. But Kit and Jay inherited a publication with shaky finances, and despite considerable assistance from Demos, the New York-based liberal think tank, we’ve not been able to turn the corner financially. Essentially, we need to raise an additional $500,000 over and above our regular fundraising by the end of May to keep going....
The Prospect, as many of you know, was founded 22 years ago by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich and Paul Starr, and during that time has turned out a great many important pieces that have contributed to American liberal thought, criticism, and action. Among the younger writers and editors who learned their craft here, including those who were part of our writing fellows program, are many of the best young liberal journalists in the country – Ezra Klein, Dana Goldstein, Matt Yglesias, Jon Cohn, Jon Chait, Richard Just, Ann Friedman, Josh Marshall, Josh Greene, Garance Franke-Ruta, Tim Fernholz, Adam Serwer, Kate Sheppard, Noy Thrupkaew, Nick Confessore, Chris Mooney, Sasha Polokow-Saransky, and our two current Writing Fellows, Jamelle Bouie and Patrick Caldwell – to name just a few.
We certainly have a fighting chance to keep on turning out a magazine and a website that are key parts of the American liberal infrastructure. But we can’t do it without your help.