Multimedia Enterprise Emerges from the Muck of the Virginia Blogosphere

by James A. Bacon

Bearing Drift Media has announced a merger with Virginia Line Media LLC to provide conservative content to Virginians across multiple channels, including the Internet, print, radio and social networks. The combination represents the first instance I can recall of Virginia bloggers making a serious bid to bootstrap their way into mainstream media.

Bearing Drift produces the Bearing Drift blog, the most highly trafficked right-leaning blog in the Virginia blogosphere, as well as a monthly magazine. Virginia Line Media owns The Score Radio Network, a conservative radio interview show broadcast on stations in Richmond, Williamsburg and Lynchburg as well as three online radio networks.

“This is yet another step forward for Virginians who are looking for a substantial, statewide conservative alternative for their news and information – how they want it and when they want it,” said Jim Hoeft, Bearing Drift’s founder and new president of Virginia Line Media in a prepared statement. “By combining with Virginia Line, conservatives now have a clear alternative to hear, read, and instantaneously share the political information that is most important to them – information that affects their family and livelihood.”

“To partner with Bearing Drift means we instantly gain access to a well-established online conservative voice – and we provide a well-established radio voice to amplify the message,” said Norman Leahy, founder of Virginia Line, and a contributor to Bacon’s Rebellion. “Our combined efforts will give conservatives an outlet for their concerns, and will provide feedback to legislators and pundits about what a substantial part of the electorate believes is the right direction for the commonwealth – without censorship or condescension.”

Although I am a periodic guest on The Score, I don’t speak with any inside knowledge. However, I would expect that the most obvious “economy of scale” in the merger will be the ability to better support an advertising staff. I suspect that it would be difficult for either group to generate enough sales to support a full-time sales staff on their own. But the two combined could well pull it off.

A sure sign that Bearing Drift Media has broken out of pigeonholing as a niche political publication is if it can start generating more than Republican-campaign and conservative-advocacy ads. Given the polarized nature of media today and its line-up of some of the top Republican/conservative writing and radio talent in Virginia, Bearing Drift has a very good shot at building a significant audience. The big question is whether it can pull in enough advertising to build a profitable and enduring enterprise.

Is Bearing Drift Media the future of Virginia media in a digital world? We’ll have a clue if Blue Virginia or Not Larry Sabato start orchestrating mergers with other blue-state blogs. Stay tuned…

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14 responses to “Multimedia Enterprise Emerges from the Muck of the Virginia Blogosphere”

  1. Good!

    I hope some of the liberal leaning blogs do the same.

    The upcoming General Assembly elections are getting very little press – at least in Northern Virginia. The blogs are doing the best job of covering the elections but they are almost alway operated by part time blogmasters who only have so much time in the day.

    Virginia needs more transparency and that’s not coming from the MSM.

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    You mean with Rush, Sean, O’Reilly, Ann, and the rest of the right wing weirdos we still need more propaganda from that side of the aisle?

  3. I am pleased to see we’re already being confused with the high-priced national talkers.

  4. Bearing Drift Media has announced a merger with Virginia Line Media LLC to provide conservative content to Virginians across multiple channels, including the Internet, print, radio and social networks.


    To provide conservative content whether it is the truth or not, whether it is the best content or not.

    This makes me sick, and it would make me just as sick if they proposed to provide liberal content.

    This isn’t media, this is advertising.

    How about a mission statement tha t seeks the truth, whichever side of the aisle it falls on?

  5. Hydra:

    Failing a mission statement of truth – how about two centers of opinion on Virginia politics – one conservative and one liberal?

    You get to read both and form your own opinion.

    Sounds like we have one brewing.

  6. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Why only two?

  7. There are many centers of opinion, but only one objective truth.

    Many opinions about how public money should be spent. There might even be multiple ways to spend it the best way, though I think that it is unlikely. In any case, from where we are, we can most only find the nearest local maximum of benefits to cost.

    Whatever that set of conditions is, will ecstasy whether we find it or not.

    Therefore, as soon as an idea or opinion as to how we should find it is labeled as conservative or liberal, I know it is almost certainly wrong. That is because its primary purpose is to promote a cause and gain power, rather than to honestly search for truth, and a way to measure it.

    Show me success criteria, a plan to achieve them, and a test to see if they are met. Show me a plan with a set of rules which if not met will concede failure, and dictate revision of the plan.

    Opinion, whether liberal, conservative, or EMR socialist admits of no such possibility. Opinion is fixed ( almost) in spite of reality.

  8. That objective truth changes over : we no longer need to spend time or money curing polio. But conservative or liberal positions about what we should do or how to go about it seldom change.

  9. […] Bacon of Bacon’s Rebellion says they will serve “Virginians across multiple channels, including the Internet, print, radio […]

  10. you cannot have an objective discussion about anything if the narrative is based on propaganda and misinformation.

    and that’s the problem with the right now days.

    Groveton says why not liberal and conservative…

    it’s more than that – Conservatives in general and moved far right and have basically ousted moderates that they now derisively refer to as RHINOs.

  11. PoliticsMatters Avatar

    On the changing face of media, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “I think our journalism and our politics are changing at an ever-increasing rate. The rapid change in journalism is very unsettling to the business. They are finding new business models that can work for newspapers in the internet age. Radio and television are also cutting back as advertising has shifted. They have to find working business models. They’ve also started cooperating with non-profit groups…. I think new partnerships are going to change the way the media is covering the news and the way the platforms are for reporting the news…. Everyone is trying new business models because old print newspaper empires will die if they view themselves as old print newspaper empires. They are either in the news business or in the newspaper business, and if they are in the news business they will adapt a new business model and survive. If they are in the newspaper business, they’ll just go out of business.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, interview program Politics Matters with host Jan Paynter discussing journalism

  12. alright.. who let the guy speaking common sense in the back door?

  13. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Wow, Bob Gibson is just figuring this out about the media? Where was he in 1995?

    Things must be slow in Charlottesville.

    Peter Galuszka

    1. Bob Gibson? The nine time all star and two time Cy Young winning pitcher for the St Louis Cardinals?

      He’s living in Charlottesville and writing about the media?


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