One of the nation's leading gay political bloggers, Andrew Sullivan, announced today that he's leaving The Daily Beast — where he has penned The Dish for years — and starting his own company, Dish Publishing LLC. According to Politico, Sullivan, the author of five books and the former editor of The New Republic, and his staff are launching an independent website, AndrewSullivan.com, that will be financially supported by his readers (at $1.67 a month or $19.99 a year). On his blog, Sullivan wrote that The Daily Beast offered him resources to grow and expand far beyond what he imagined when he launched his blog 12 years ago, but as his contract at the Beast was ending, he faced a decision: "As usual, we sought your input and the blogosphere's — hence the not-terribly subtle thread that explored whether online readers will ever pay for content, and how. The answer is: no one really knows. But as we debated and discussed that unknowable future, we felt more and more that getting readers to pay a small amount for content was the only truly solid future for online journalism. And since The Dish has, from its beginnings, attempted to pioneer exactly such a solid future for web journalism, we also felt we almost had a duty to try and see if we could help break some new ground. 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."