Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro has resigned as editor-in-chief of TruthRevolt, a non-profit news website site that he co-founded just two years ago.
Shapiro's departure from the young media group, which he launched in 2013 along with David Horowitz of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, comes amid the group's decision to let go of many of its writers — and as Horowitz is hitting back against widespread rumors that the site is sinking.
Although Shapiro's name is prominently displayed on the website's homepage, it is nevertheless a "project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center." Horowitz himself owns the site.
"I am no longer associated with [TruthRevolt] and it's a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, fully owned and operated by them," Shapiro told the Washington Examiner's media desk when asked about the future of the website. "What David Horowitz chooses to do with the site after my resignation is out of my purview."
Shapiro told the Examiner that he formally resigned last week, but held off announcing it until he and others involved had time to work out his exit.
He said that he's focused right now on an upcoming project for the 2016 presidential election, adding that his exit from TruthRevolt has freed him from the restrictions of the group's non-profit status.
"There's only so much that you can do with a 501(c)(3)," he said.
Since January, at least 10 writers have been cut loose, Shapiro told the Examiner.
Soon-to-be-former TruthRevolt writers, some of whom found out just last week that they would no longer be writing for the site, told the Examiner that they were shocked when they were told via emails written by former executive editor Jeremy Boreing that they had been let go.
"One day, I was just sitting around and I opened up my email," one outgoing writer said. "I have no idea if they're just getting rid of me because I'm disagreeable or because they actually are funding something. Beats the heck out of me. I haven't got a guess. I have zero idea."
There also appears to be confusion over the website's future.
Boreing seemingly suggested in several notes to his staff that the website would be shuttered on May 1, according to emails obtained by the Examiner.
"Writing with bad news. Effective May 1, TruthRevolt will no longer be a project of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. They've decided to pull the plug," read one such email written by Boreing.
The note to staff continued, explaining that "[Ben Shapiro] and I are trying to buy the site, and if we do we may circle back with you and try to sign you back on, but for now, please consider this official notice that May 1 will be the last day."
A separate email written by the former executive editor read, "May 1 is the official end of business."
Boreing told the Examiner Thursday that he is no longer associated with TruthRevolt or the David Horowitz Freedom Center
Horowitz maintained in a conversation with the Examiner that there are no plans to "pull the plug" on the site, that TruthRevolt will continue to produce new content and that all claims to the contrary are simply false.
"We certainly have no plans to close the site down. None. And we haven't pulled any plugs," he said. "Some people have been let go. But we're not letting the site go."
He added, "We're keeping some people on and I expect it to be a really, really good continuation at TruthRevolt."
The new TruthRevolt editor-in-chief will be Mark Tapson, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Asked whether the site would continue to run even after losing its editor-in-chief and many of its writers, Shapiro repeated that he no longer has anything to do with the website and that it's all up to Horowitz.
Launched in 2013, TruthRevolt was intended to act as a conservative counterargument to David Brock's left-wing, pro-Clinton Media Matters for America.
The site's stated goal is to "unmask leftists in the media for who they are, destroy their credibility with the American public, and devastate their funding bases."