|Founded||September 16, 1998|
|Founder||Christopher Ruddy, CEO|
|Ken Chandler, Editor-in-Chief for Newsmax magazine|
Newsmax Media is an American news media organization founded by Christopher Ruddy and based in West Palm Beach, Florida. It operates a multiplatform network focused on conservative media, including the news website Newsmax.com, publishes the Franklin Prosperity Report and Newsmax magazine, and the cable news channel Newsmax TV.
Ruddy started Newsmax.com on September 16, 1998, supported by a group of investors, including the family of the late Central Intelligence Agency Director William J. Casey. Later, Richard Mellon Scaife, Ruddy's former employer at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, invested in the fledgling company. One of the initial board members was author James Dale Davidson who edited a financial newsletter. Davidson's co-editor, Lord Rees-Mogg, former editor of The Times and Vice Chair of the BBC, later became chairman of Newsmax.
Other news figures who later joined the Newsmax board included Arnaud de Borchgrave, the longtime Newsweek chief correspondent who also serves as editor-at-large of United Press International (UPI) and Jeff Cunningham, former publisher of Forbes. Admiral Thomas Moorer, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations during the Vietnam War, also served as one of the company's founding board members. Former United States Secretary of State and Nixon and Ford administration Chief of Staff, General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. served as special adviser to NewsMax.
Ruddy aimed at creating an Internet news company by building a team of reporters. In August 2001, talk radio host Michael Reagan merged his monthly newsletter The Reagan Monitor with Newsmax Magazine and began writing a regular column for the publication.
In 2008, a profile in The Palm Beach Post on Newsmax and founder Ruddy indicated the company generated revenues of approximately $25 million per year, and, according to the company, has been profitable for the past five years. In a 2009 Forbes.com interview, Internet expert Nathan Richardson was asked to identify the "smartest thing on the web" today. Richardson identified Newsmax, among several websites, citing its success "monetizing the web."
In March 2009, Forbes ran a feature on Newsmax describing it as a "media empire" and the "great right hope" of the Republican Party. Forbes noted that after just a decade of operations it had become a "media powerhouse" and had surpassed such well-known sites as the Drudge Report in Web visitors. According to the magazine, Newsmax draws 3.8 million unique visitors monthly. Political analyst Dick Morris was quoted as saying that Newsmax had become the "most influential Republican-leaning media outlet" in the nation.
In a January 2010 profile on the company, the Financial Times reported that the "Rise of Newsmax Defies the Media Trend" and said its website, Newsmax.com, is "one of the strongest conservative voices online". The paper said Newsmax had witnessed 40 percent growth rates per annum over the past decade and closed 2009 with $35 million revenues, up from $24 million the year before.
An April 2010 cover story for Talkers Magazine featured Newsmax as a model of future media companies called "Media Stations" that offer their audience audio, video, digital, and even print content.
A 2010 New York Post story reported that the paper's long-time former editor, Kenneth Chandler, was tapped as Newsmax Magazine's editor-in-chief. CEO Ruddy also told the Post the company expected annual 2010 revenues to exceed $50 million.
Starting in April 2013, Newsmax.com and its affiliated sites drew 14.4 million unique visitors, leading comScore's News/Politics category over such sites as The Huffington Post Politics, Fox News Politics, CNN Politics, NBCNews.com Politics, and Politico.com in monthly viewership for two consecutive months.
In 2014, Newsmax announced they would be starting a new TV News Network, as an alternative to Fox News. On their website Newsmax said they expected to have up to 21 hours of original programming a day by the end of the summer. They named the network Newsmax TV. It's available for free on their website.
Reach and influence
Nielsen Online said Newsmax.com was the most trafficked conservative website with approximately 4 million unique visitors monthly. A 2010 study released by Nielsen reported that Newsmax.com was the number one site for conservatives in the U.S., making it one of the most influential conservative news sites in the nation. Alexa Internet statistics for Newsmax.com indicate that the readership consists mainly of Internet users over the age of 45, which aligns itself to the average age of Republican leaning voters, as gathered by The Pew Research Center.
A profile on Newsmax in The New York Times described the company as a "potent force" in U.S. politics and noted the company's headquarters had become a must stop for Republican candidates seeking the party's 2012 nomination.
The company has increasingly attracted national and international leaders to its West Palm Beach, Florida headquarters. Former President Bill Clinton, who describes Newsmax's CEO Ruddy as a friend, made headlines when he visited Newsmax's offices during the summer of 2010. When Sarah Palin stopped by the office for an interview, US News and World Report suggested the move was the clearest indication yet she was planning to run for President. According to the magazine, Newsmax is a major player in GOP politics, as seen during the 2012 primaries. Visitors have also included Rep. Michele Bachmann, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune, Gov. Haley Barbour, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former Sen. Rick Santorum, among others.
In addition to Newsmax.com, the company publishes Newsmax magazine, which the company describes as one of the nation’s largest independent monthlies "with a conservative perspective." During 2015 the company reported a monthly readership of 400,000. In November 2005, Newsmax magazine earned a Silver Eddie award in the News/Commentary category of the Eddies, the journalism awards presented by Folio Magazine in New York City.
In March 2014, Newsmax was profiled in Bloomberg Businessweek by correspondent Karl Taro Greenfeld. The Bloomberg Businessweek story detailed Newsmax's successful business model of targeting higher-incomed Baby boomers. The average age of a Newsmax online reader is 54.7 years of age. The profile detailed Newsmax's plans to launch a linear and Over-the-top (OTT) content cable channel, and suggested their revenue model which sells "a smorgasbord of political, health, and financial information, self-help books, and even vitamin supplements" could make the company uniquely competitive in this arena.
- Meyers, Jim.Nielsen: Newsmax #1 Conservative Site in the Nation, Newsmax.com, January 17, 2010.
- Poe, pp. 171-172.
- Poe, p. 100.
- "General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. joins NewsMax.com advisory board", PR Newswire
- ""Michael Reagan and Reagan Monitor Join Newsmax Magazine", Newsmax.com, August 14, 2001
- Smilie, Dirk, "Nathan Richardson's Modest Proposal" Forbes.com article, February 3, 2009.
- Smillie, Dirk."A Great Right Hope", Forbes.com, March 6, 2009.
- Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew. "Rise of Newsmax Defies The Media Trend" Financial Times, January 10, 2009.
- Santaniello, Beverly."The Rise of Newsmax" Talkers magazine, April 2010.
- Kelly, Keith J."Newsweek Post Yet to be Filled" New York Post, November 4, 2010.
- comScore.“Newsmax Reports #1 Online Reading Status”, Talkers.com, June 5, 2013.
- "Newsmax To Launch Channel with DirecTV". Politico. 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
- "Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era". Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- "newsmax.com Site Overview". alexa.com. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Peters, Jeremy W.A Compass for Conservative Politics,The New York Times, July 10, 2011.
- Lambiet, Jose.Bill Clinton's Surprise Visit to Conservative Newsmax Archived 2010-10-18 at Archive.today, Page 2 Live, August 16, 2010.
- Bedard, Paul.Sarah Palin Takes A Big Step Toward 2012 Run for President,US News and World Report, October 7, 2010.
- "2005 EDDIE WINNERS".
- Friedman, Jon.Chris Ruddy: Conservatives'Great Online Ally, "Marketwatch.com", March 13, 2009.
- Greenfeld, Karl Taro.The Next Ailes: Newsmax's Chris Ruddy Preps TV Rival to Fox News, Bloomberg Business, March 6, 2014.