Breitbart after Steve Bannon

It's difficult to imagine Breitbart without Steve Bannon.Bannon had headed the far-right website since 2012 --...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 9:36 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 9:36 AM

It's difficult to imagine Breitbart without Steve Bannon.

Bannon had headed the far-right website since 2012 -- with a brief hiatus to be CEO of Donald Trump's presidential campaign and then White House chief strategist -- infamously using it as a weapon in service of his political goals.

Now that he has left his perch as executive chairman, much remains to be seen of what will become of the website, which gained prominence for its glowing coverage of Trump during the 2016 election and the early days of his presidency, as well as its perceived closeness to his administration.

But it's safe to say that Bannon's departure will have an impact on the website.

In its early days, Breitbart primarily published content from wire services, slapping flashy headlines on articles from the Associated Press with the aim of being linked to by the Drudge Report, a highly-trafficked website that provided it large volumes of traffic. Founder Andrew Breitbart later relaunched the website as an edgy, conservative news outlet and attracted attention by partnering with guerrilla filmmaker James O'Keefe to release a series of undercover videos about ACORN.

But it was Bannon, after he took the reins of the website following Andrew Breitbart's sudden death, who made it what it has become: a nationalist, populist website supportive of the agenda Trump campaigned on.

Related: Steve Bannon stepping down from Breitbart

So what will it become without him? On Wednesday afternoon, Breitbart CEO Larry Solov and Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow hosted a short company-wide conference call to discuss exactly that: Breitbart's future in the post-Bannon era.

Solov and Marlow offered kind words about Bannon, according to two Breitbart employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The duo, the employees said, announced that Breitbart was not immediately naming a new executive chairman and said there would be no staff changes.

"They basically said everything is OK and that they were proud of everyone in the company," one of the employees told CNN.

Effectively, the employees told CNN, Marlow and Solov told staffers that business would continue as usual in the wake of Bannon's dramatic exit.

It's possible that the website could remain as it is, in the mold Bannon shaped. As a person close to Bannon noted to CNN, the former executive chairman left Breitbart with his core team still in place. And as Marlow and Solov told employees on Wednesday's call, no staff changes are set to occur.

Related: Breitbart went all out for Roy Moore. Now its top editor says he was a 'weak candidate'

That said, Breitbart's ethos was defined by Bannon. At the time of his exit, the website had effectively become an extension of him, a vessel for Bannon to express and articulate his political beliefs. Marlow reminded those on the call that the site had gone on as before while Bannon was in the White House, but still, it is hard to imagine that even the current staffers left behind -- no matter how loyal to him -- will be able to carry Bannon's torch forward as firmly and audaciously as he would have.

Bannon stepped down from Breitbart on Tuesday after a burst of controversy stemming from comments he made to author Michael Wolff for the book "Fire and Fury." Bannon's comments seemingly infuriated the President, who on Twitter began referring to his former chief strategist and campaign CEO as "Sloppy Steve." The White House even went so far as to say that Breitbart should consider firing him.

And Breitbart did exactly that. A person familiar with the situation told CNN last week that there had been a "hard push" to convince Breitbart CEO Larry Solov and Susie Breitbart, the widow of Andrew Breitbart, to fire him. And Rebekah Mercer, the conservative mega-donor who owns a stake in Breitbart and was a Bannon ally, prompted intense speculation about Bannon's future when she publicly rebuked him in a rare public statement.

Despite this, Bannon had insisted to allies and others over the last few days that he wasn't going anywhere, people familiar with the situation told CNN. He issued a lengthy statement on Sunday in which he suggested some of the comments attributed to him in Wolff's book were taken out of context, but stopped short of offering a full apology.

The statement did not seem to appease Trump. A person familiar with the matter told CNN that Trump viewed the statement as "too little and too late." And on Monday, flying aboard Air Force One, deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters, "I don't believe there is any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118587

Reported Deaths: 3310
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds8050179
DeSoto728580
Harrison549185
Jackson480088
Rankin404686
Madison386194
Lee366582
Forrest311878
Jones296684
Washington2627100
Lafayette255043
Lauderdale2546135
Lamar231940
Oktibbeha204855
Bolivar203979
Neshoba1868111
Lowndes181962
Panola172040
Leflore170688
Sunflower164349
Warren156156
Monroe153873
Pontotoc150620
Marshall148430
Lincoln143359
Pike140656
Copiah139336
Scott127029
Coahoma125837
Union125825
Yazoo123434
Simpson123149
Grenada122939
Tate121039
Itawamba117226
Leake116342
Pearl River116360
Holmes115060
Adams109445
Prentiss109220
Alcorn104512
Wayne102722
George101719
Covington98829
Marion95943
Tippah94924
Newton87227
Hancock86828
Chickasaw86727
Tallahatchie85526
Winston85221
Tishomingo82741
Attala80527
Clarke77053
Clay71022
Jasper69617
Walthall64427
Calhoun63313
Noxubee60217
Smith60216
Yalobusha56416
Montgomery55823
Lawrence54414
Claiborne53916
Tunica53717
Perry52423
Carroll50312
Stone49114
Greene48118
Humphreys45117
Amite42813
Quitman4236
Jefferson Davis42112
Webster37813
Benton36710
Wilkinson34221
Kemper33315
Sharkey28715
Jefferson27910
Franklin2513
Choctaw2096
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 161537

Reported Deaths: 2718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23769383
Mobile17039318
Tuscaloosa10539141
Montgomery10435199
Madison946798
Shelby756365
Baldwin674369
Lee662465
Calhoun468962
Marshall445251
Etowah436552
Morgan426335
Houston421234
DeKalb351229
Elmore326558
St. Clair307042
Limestone295131
Walker285593
Talladega273937
Cullman260025
Lauderdale237143
Jackson221917
Autauga210331
Colbert208232
Franklin207732
Blount198825
Russell19763
Chilton190932
Dallas188127
Coffee182611
Dale180852
Covington176729
Escambia175331
Clarke138017
Chambers137047
Pike135514
Tallapoosa135387
Marion110331
Barbour10459
Marengo103522
Butler101541
Winston94313
Geneva9357
Lawrence87733
Pickens87418
Bibb85615
Randolph84316
Hale78030
Cherokee76114
Clay75812
Washington75412
Henry7286
Lowndes71728
Monroe66010
Bullock65017
Crenshaw61130
Perry5966
Fayette59413
Cleburne5779
Wilcox57112
Conecuh56513
Macon54120
Lamar5165
Sumter47721
Choctaw39412
Greene34616
Coosa2143
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
51° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 51°
Columbus
Broken Clouds
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
45° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 39°
Starkville
Broken Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 54°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather