The Intercept is running out of cash amid New York Times flap: report


Left-leaning news site the Intercept is reportedly in dire financial straits that could cause the nonprofit to shutter next year — as it attacks the New York Times over alleged bias in its Israel-Hamas war coverage.

The Intercept — co-founded by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras a decade ago and originally financed by eBay billionaire founder Pierre Omidyar — is losing around $300,000 per month and could run out of money by May 2025, according to Semafor.

Last year, Omidyar cut his support and the site was spun off by its parent company, First Look Media, to become an independent nonprofit newsroom that could raise money from philanthropists as well as solicit donations from readers.

The spinoff was carried out with a grant of $14 million from First Look Media.

The Intercept is on track to have a balance of less than $1 million by November, Semafor reported.

The financial difficulties have fueled tension in the newsroom as the business side is seeking to rein in some of the site’s overtly left-wing coverage in hopes of attracting more funding — a development that has irked staffers who say it’s an encroachment on its editorial independence.

The Post has reached out to the Intercept for comment.

The Intercept, the left-leaning news site, is reportedly hemorrhaging cash and could run out entirely by next year. The Intercept

One fundraising email sent out by the Intercept quoted the Times’ Israel correspondent Adam Rasgon about “how little the paper values Palestinian lives” during an interview for the publication’s “The Daily” podcast.

The Times is demanding that the Intercept issue a correction and apologize for mischaracterizing Rasgon’s quote to podcast host Michael Barbaro.

Separately, the Intercept called out the Gray Lady for killing an episode of “The Daily” that focused on a controversial Times story by Jeffrey Gettleman and freelancers which found Hamas had weaponized sexual violence in its attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. 

On Monday, the Times ended its investigation into whether staffers leaked confidential information about its Gaza war coverage without any conclusive finding, executive editor Joe Kahn told staff, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The uproar at the Times is nothing compared to the seeming chaos at the Intercept over its possible impending doom.

Greenwald, who along with Poitras broke the Edward Snowden story, quit the organization in 2021 as it veered further to the left, alienating many of the donors it now seeks.

Interecept CEO Annie Chabel told Semafor that the site had a “stretch revenue goal that would allow us to continue into a longer horizon.”

Last October, Chabel told staffers that the news site was on track to meet its fundraising goals.

But since then, the Intercept has struggled to generate enough philanthropic donations. Earlier this year, the site laid off 30% of its staff.

Roger Hodge, the site’s editor-in-chief, was reportedly laid off after he and Chabel clashed over layoffs as well as his reluctance to work with the business side of the operation, according to Semafor.

The site’s business side has clashed with senior editors who say their independence is being curtailed. The Intercept

Hodge denied the claim, telling Semafor: “It’s simply not true that I resisted working with the fundraising operation.”

“I spent untold hours talking to them about the journalism and writing memos and have been helping to brainstorm how they could describe the work we’re doing,” he said.

“I spent way more time doing that than editing pieces.”

With no editor-in-chief, Chabel won approval from the board to restructure the organization so that the new top editor would report to the CEO rather than to the board.

Chabel then asked deputy editor Nausicaa Renner and senior news editor Ali Gharib to fill in as interim co-editors-in-chief while the company searched for a full-time successor to Hodge, Semafor reported.

Renner and Gharib both declined. A short time later, Renner resigned, according to Semafor.

The Intercept has sought to solicit donations from small donors and philanthropic organizations. The Intercept

Renner told Semafor that she found the editorial restructuring “disturbing” and that Chabel threatened the Intercept’s editorial independence.

“Editorial hires and priorities should not be determined by the CEO,” she said of Chabel.

“No matter what her politics are as an individual, the effect of her cuts and leadership is to quiet an outspoken outlet on Gaza.”

Four veteran journalists at the Intercept — co-founder Jeremy Scahill, Washington, DC, bureau chief Ryan Grim, editor Maryam Saleh and Gharib — then proposed that they form an interim committee that would run the site’s editorial side while it searched for a new editor-in-chief.

This proposal was rejected by the board.

Earlier this year, at an all-hands meeting, Scahill was highly critical of Chabel, saying she should resign.

Last week, it was reported that the Intercept hired former Los Angeles Times assistant managing editor Ben Muessig to be interim editor-in-chief — a decision that was not well received by staffers.

The New York Times recently sent the Intercept a letter asking it to correct a fundraising email. NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chabel told Semafor that “it’s not a surprise that there are some traditional funders who are not going to be interested in our particular brand of journalism.”

Still, she said it takes time for a nonprofit to find major donors.

Chabel said the Intercept occupies a “unique place” in the media landscape and that it can still find sources of funding even from those who don’t agree with everything it publishes.

“I think a lot of donors care about who is in power and the power is questioned, regardless of whether it’s left or right,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Intercept’s feud with the Times over the fundraising email stemmed from Rasgon’s comments on the deaths of the World Central Kitchen aid workers killed in a missile strike by the Israeli military.

The fundraising email quoted a “The Daily” podcast with host Michael Barbaro. Getty Images for SXSW

The WCK was founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

“Frankly, I don’t think we would be having this conversation if a group of Palestinian aid workers had been killed,” the Intercept email quoted Rasgon as saying.

But the Times sent a note to the Intercept’s legal and fundraising teams accusing them of mischaracterizing Rasgon’s quote.

A transcript of the interview shows that Barbaro noted that “the speed with which Israel came out and said it was in the wrong here” was “not how Israel typically reacts to many of these situations.”

“I think it does have to do with this particular group,” Rasgon noted.

“This is a group that’s led by a celebrity chef, very high-profile, who has gone around the world to conflict zones, disaster areas, to provide food aid.”

Rasgon went on to say that he also believes “it has to do with the people who were killed, most of [whom] were Western foreign aid workers.”

“Frankly, I don’t think we would be having this conversation if a group of Palestinian aid workers had been killed,” he said.

Barbaro added that the Israeli government would not have reacted as well in the same manner.

“I would agree with that,” Rasgon said.



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