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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 10:36 AM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 10:36 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
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Ripley327862
Adams325149
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White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
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Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
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Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
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Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
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Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 976230

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1127971251
Cuyahoga966701881
Hamilton737981067
Montgomery47453923
Summit40562831
Butler35750531
Lucas35685720
Stark29548826
Warren22539275
Lorain22149424
Mahoning19556551
Lake18509332
Clermont18484205
Delaware16576121
Licking15063194
Fairfield14622188
Trumbull14397424
Greene13636221
Medina13484237
Clark12352256
Wood11633170
Portage11104172
Allen10815216
Richland10360188
Miami10055194
Muskingum8224117
Columbiana8165210
Pickaway8085111
Tuscarawas8065232
Marion8015127
Wayne7915199
Erie6948146
Ross6170132
Geauga6105142
Hancock6021121
Ashtabula5998154
Scioto599188
Lawrence527186
Union515641
Darke5046116
Belmont4990137
Huron4848108
Jefferson4831137
Sandusky4791112
Washington473696
Seneca4720111
Athens465849
Mercer459181
Auglaize456682
Shelby442579
Knox4053105
Putnam400393
Madison394755
Fulton382561
Ashland381983
Brown374352
Defiance373588
Crawford359598
Logan356973
Preble353887
Clinton342055
Highland328451
Ottawa325171
Williams303268
Jackson291246
Champaign290149
Guernsey288745
Perry270748
Fayette269843
Morrow261137
Henry247361
Hardin246859
Holmes244097
Coshocton240056
Van Wert230257
Gallia223538
Adams218139
Pike216728
Wyandot212050
Hocking194954
Carroll181743
Paulding160834
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117137
Morgan101620
Harrison100731
Vinton76613
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