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Andrew Sullivan Leaving Daily Beast to Start Own Company

Andrew Sullivan is splitting his blog The Dish off into an independent, subscription-based service

Andrew Sullivan, one of the Daily Beast and Newsweek's marquee writers, said Wednesday that he is leaving to start his own company. 

The DishIn an announcement posted early on Wednesday, Sullivan said he and executive editors Patrick Appel and Chris Bodenner have created Dish Publishing LLC. The Dish, which will launch on AndrewSullivan.com on Feb. 1, will charge $19.99 a year for access.

"We felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism," Sullivan wrote. "The only completely clear and transparent way to do this, we concluded, was to become totally independent of other media entities and rely entirely on you for our salaries, health insurance and legal, technological and accounting expenses."

He thanked editor Tina Brown and financier Barry Diller for hosting his site, the Dish, on the Beast.

"The Beast in particular gave us the resources and support to take the Dish to a new level of richness, breadth and depth: adding one more staffer and two paid interns, helping us with video, giving us a supportive space to breathe and grow, as we have," Sullivan wrote. "We are intensely grateful to them, especially Tina Brown and Barry Diller, who became great partners in this evolving enterprise."

"Tina and Barry have been fully supportive of this decision once we made it, although we're all sad to part ways," he added.

He said he and his team of editors may also launch a monthly tablet-only magazine — a bold move just a month after News Corporation's the Daily folded, casting doubt on the future of tabloid-only publishing.

"We have many future projects in our head — commissioning and editing original long-form journalism is a core ambition of ours, along with a possible monthly tablet magazine called "Deep Dish" (which would both require hiring old-school editors) — and the more you give us," he wrote, "the faster we can evolve, mature and develop further."

The final issue of Newsweek, which merged with Brown's Beast in November 2010, hit newsstands last week, ending an 80-year run as a print magazine. Brown said the publication will be refashioned as an online-only subscription service.