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Background: Founded in 1995 by David Talbot, an ex-San Francisco Examiner editor, Salon was one of the first publications to be based on a weekly print model that offered content solely online. The site has undergone a series of transitions over the years, transforming from its original weekly updates and SalonMagazine.com domain name to the daily news and culture site at Salon.com that it is today. The site has garnered a number of accolades during its tenure as an alternative Web source for news; in 1996, Time named Salon the website of the year, and its writers have generated a number of books related to the site's content. All of Salon's content remains free, but Salon Premium also offers special and ad-free content for subscribers. Talbot served atop the masthead until 2008, when Richard Gringas took over as CEO; Kerry Lauerman was named editor-in-chief in 2010.
In 2009, due to economic woes and difficulties with monetizing online content, Salon instigated a string of firings and staff changes that coincided with its redesign in an attempt to streamline editorial work. In an official statement issued to the staff, Gringas wrote, "We are moving away from a very traditional magazine production model and becoming more of a true Web publication, with a more direct publishing system. Moving forward, we are investing most in the writers and creative participants who can help us continue to attract the smart, discerning readers attracted to Salon."
Despite the recent changes, Salon remains a flagship for smart and resonant personal essays, irreverent political news and intelligent analysis. Culture editor Sarah Hepola describes Salon's typical readers as "book-reading, independent film-viewing, liberal-skewing, college-educated sophisticates."
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