Of all the investments in conservative media made by the billionaire Mercer family over the years, none have been as prominent, or as public, as their minority stake in Breitbart, the flame-throwing, once wildly-influential media brand founded by namesake Andrew Breitbart and guided to its shitkicking apotheosis by former C.E.O. Steve Bannon. But these days, compared to its 2016 heyday, Breitbart has far less influence in conservative politics, and fewer people appear willing to pay for merchandise. Meanwhile, after various Facebook algorithm changes and the faded rubbernecking of the liberal elite, advertisers don’t quite seem to lust after whatever audience remains. Breitbart was also the target of a viral campaign that pressured blue-chip companies to remove their programmatic ads from Google Ads, compounding their financial woes.
It’s one of numerous reasons why sources tell us that Rebekah “Bekah” Mercer, the 48-year-old daughter of conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, is looking to offload her stake in the digital media company. According to these sources, the Mercers invest in the mid seven figures each year to keep the company operational. We’re told that she’s made a pitch to various high-net worth individuals, including conservative billionaires John Childs, Bernie Marcus, and Elizabeth Uihlein, about stepping in. But there has been very little interest. (“This story is false,” said Breitbart spokesperson Elizabeth Moore. Mercer, Childs, Marcus, and Uihlein did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Unlike competitors such as The Daily Caller, which has a nonprofit arm, or The Daily Wire, which leans heavily on subscriptions, Breitbart never developed robust business lines outside of its news site, programmatic advertising, apparel, and its SiriusXM radio show—a point of contention for the Mercers, who have previously warned Breitbart leadership that “their involvement wasn’t going to be forever,” according to one of the sources familiar with the situation, and that the business needed to become profitable on its own. Their attempts to secure other investors have also been troubled.