Matt Drudge : biography
Matthew Nathan "Matt" Drudge (born October 27, 1966) is the American creator and editor of the Drudge Report, a news aggregator. Drudge has also authored a book and hosted a radio show and a television show.
Drudge was unknown before he began the news aggregation site, the Drudge Report. For many years, he took odd jobs such as night counterman at a 7-Eleven convenience store, telemarketer for Time-Life books, McDonald’s manager, and sales assistant at a New York City grocery store. In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles, where he took up residence in a small Hollywood apartment. He took a job in the gift shop of CBS studios, eventually working his way up to manager. Here, he was apparently privy to some inside gossip, part of the inspiration for founding the Drudge Report. Worried about his son’s aimlessness, Drudge’s father insisted on buying him a Packard Bell computer in 1994. The Drudge Report began as an e-mail sent out to a few friends.
The original issues were part gossip and part opinion. They were distributed as an e-mail newsletter and posted to alt.showbiz.gossip Usenet forum. In 1996, the newsletter transitioned slowly from entertainment gossip to political gossip and moved from e-mail to the Web as its primary distribution mechanism.
In March 1995, the Drudge Report had 1,000 e-mail subscribers; By 1997, Drudge had 85,000 subscribers to his e-mail service. Drudge’s website gained in popularity in the late 1990s after a number of stories which he reported before the mainstream media. Drudge first received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole’s running mate in the 1996 presidential election. In 1998, Drudge gained popularity when he was the first outlet to break the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Drudge met Andrew Breitbart in Los Angeles during the 1990s and became his mentor, with Breitbart later helping to run the Drudge Report. Breitbart announced in 2005 that he was "amicably leaving the Drudge Report after a long and close working relationship with Matt Drudge" but still helped run Drudge’s website from Los Angeles by working the afternoon shift, in addition to running Breitbart.com. Drudge frequently links to Breitbart’s site, but does not get paid for this service.
A story by Business 2.0 magazine from April 2003 estimated that Drudge’s website received $3,500 a day (almost $1.3 million a year) in advertising revenues. Subtracting his relatively minor server costs, the magazine estimated that The Drudge Report website netted $800,000 a year. An article in The Miami Herald from September 2003 said Drudge estimated he earns $1.2 million a year from his website and radio show. During an April 30, 2004 appearance on C-SPAN, Drudge confirmed that he earns over $1 million. For many years, Drudge was based out of his one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Today, Drudge maintains the website from his two properties in Miami. In updating the site, he reportedly monitors multiple television news channels and a number of websites on several computers in his home office.
Fox News television show
From June 1998 to November 1999, Drudge hosted a Saturday night television show called Drudge on the Fox News Channel. The show ended by joint consent. Drudge had refused to go on air, charging Fox News with censorship when the network prevented him from showing photos of surgery on Samuel Armas. Drudge, who is pro-life, wanted to use a picture of a tiny hand reaching out from the womb to dramatize his argument against late-term abortion, but Fox’s John Moody decided that that would be misleading because the photo was not of an abortion but an emergency operation on the fetus for spina bifida. Fox News alleged breach of contract but, after Drudge issued an apology, Fox issued a statement calling the parting "amicable."
Radio talk show
Drudge hosted a Sunday night talk radio show – "The only time anyone will let me on the air," he claimed. The show, which was also named the Drudge Report, was syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. He guest hosted for the conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Drudge gained notice in the early 2000s by becoming a frequent reference for news material on Limbaugh’s, Sean Hannity’s, and Mark Levin’s radio shows. He was often acknowledged by Michael Savage as a source of topics for The Savage Nation. Lynn Samuels, for a time, served as Drudge’s call screener.