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.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 43°
Columbus
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 45°
Oxford
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 37°
Starkville
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 37°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather