The Washington Examiner is an American political journalism website and weekly magazine based in Washington, D.C. that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally. It is owned by MediaDC, a subsidiary of Clarity Media Group, which is owned by Philip Anschutz.
From 2005 to mid-2013, the Examiner published a daily tabloid-sized newspaper, distributed free throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area, largely focused on local news and political commentary. The local newspaper ceased publication on June 14, 2013, and its content began to focus exclusively on national politics, switching its print edition from a daily newspaper to a weekly magazine format.
The publication now known as the Washington Examiner began its life as a handful of suburban news outlets known as the Journal Newspapers, distributed only in the suburbs of Washington, under the titles of Montgomery Journal, Prince George's Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal. Philip Anschutz purchased the parent company, Journal Newspapers Inc., in October 2004. On February 1 of the following year, the paper's name changed to The Washington Examiner, and it adopted a logo and format similar to that of another newspaper then owned by Anschutz, the San Francisco Examiner.
The paper became influential in conservative political circles, hiring much of the talent from The Washington Times and replacing The Times as the primary conservative paper in the capital city. The website DCist wrote in March 2013 that, "Despite the right-wing tilt of its editorial pages and sensationalist front-page headlines, it also built a reputation as one of the best local sections in D.C." The newspaper's local coverage also gained fame, including a write-up by the New York Times, for contributing to the arrest of more than 50 fugitives through a weekly feature that spotlighted a different individual wanted by the authorities.
It was announced in March 2013 that the paper would stop its daily print edition in June and refocus on national politics, converting its print edition to a weekly magazine and continuing to publish its website. The new format has been compared to The Hill. The Examiner's editor is Hugo Gurdon, and its managing editor is Philip Klein.
Distribution and readership
The target market for the weekly magazine is the "45,000 government, public affairs, advocacy, academia and political professionals in Washington, DC, and state capitals."
The Examiner has a politically active audience. The Examiner's readership was found to be more likely to sign a petition, contact a politician, attend a political rally, or participate in a government advocacy group than the readerships of other political publications including The Weekly Standard, Roll Call, Politico, and The Hill.
The Examiner has a high earning and highly educated audience with 26% holding a master's or postgraduate degree and a large percentage earning over $500,000 annually, likely to be working in executive or senior management positions.
When Anschutz started the Examiner in its daily newspaper format, he envisioned creating a conservative competitor to The Washington Post. According to Politico, "When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz's instructions were explicit — he 'wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,' said one former employee." The Examiner's writers have included Michael Barone, David Freddoso, Eddie Scarry, Rudy Takala, and Byron York.
The Examiner endorsed John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2010. On December 14, 2011, it endorsed Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, saying he was the only Republican who could beat Barack Obama in the general election, releasing a series of articles critical of Obama.