The New Republic, the century-old journal, is being put up for sale after a tumultuous year of shake-ups. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who bought the magazine in 2012, announced on Monday that The New Republic would be seeking a new owner amid the “difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate”.
Troubles started when Hughes, who ousted former editor Franklin Foer, announced plans to re-brand the Republic to a more modern, digital media vertical. Shortly after, editorial staff resigned in droves, citing a difference of vision with the new leadership and forcing the publication to suspend operations for a brief time. This mass exodus made headlines and prompted discussion on whether The New Republic’s model was still viable.
A year ago I wrote about how Chris Hughes was destroying The New Republic https://t.co/le6UOGA7RO
— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) January 11, 2016
Journalism proved too hard for this Facebook co-founder, who’s selling the magazine he never turned around https://t.co/T3RXe1MF0o
— Mashable (@mashable) January 11, 2016
Welp. // New Republic Owner Chris Hughes Puts Magazine Up For Sale https://t.co/lRlfiaoPjh
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) January 11, 2016
In an interesting move, Hughes posted his letter to the New Republic staff about the magazine’s future on Medium, and noted that “staff will remain in place and fully supported over the coming weeks.”
As traditional media fights the growing presence of digital powerhouses, like Buzzfeed and Vice, and sees profits fall, re-branding efforts like those of The New Republic are becoming more commonplace among established media companies. Hughes said in his announcement that “The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other traditional outlets seem to have found business models that work for them. I hope that this institution will one day be part of that list. To get there, The New Republic needs a new vision that only a new owner can bring”.