Good discussion about it here.
This primary season was really ugly and a lot of people, old and new, left because of the piling on or were banned. I even left for a while. It’s going to take a long time to heal those wounds. Lots of people will never come back and have found new homes at other forums.
That’s a major reason why the donations are down hard. Another reason is because people have been cutting their budgets because of the slow economy and inflation.
The owner has to find a way to survive and I, for one, don’t begrudge the use of ads if that’s the only way.