The New Republic, the venerable liberal magazine that many referred to during the Clinton presidency as the inflight magazine of Air Force One, is up for sale once again, Chris Hughes, the Facebook co-founder who bought the magazine in 2012, said in a memo to staff.
“I will be the first to admit that when I took on this challenge nearly four years ago, I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate,” Hughes said.
The move comes a little more than a year after Hughes introduced controversial changes at the magazine, including cutting its publication schedule to 10 issues a year from 20, moving its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to New York, and calling itself a digital media company. Disagreements over those decisions sparked an exodus of its top talent, including Franklin Foer, its editor, and Leon Wieseltier, its longtime literary editor who is now a contributing editor at The Atlantic.
“Our disagreement didn’t help our ability to make The New Republic viable today, but it also did not spell our demise,” Hughes said in the memo. “Even though our search for a workable business model has come up short, we have shown that digital journalism isn’t at odds with quality and depth.”