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Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Media | 0 comments

Literally a New Era for the Venerable New Republic: Bought by Facebook Co-Founder Hughes

Both of my grandfathers (Abraham Ravinsky, who I knew and Nathan Gandelman, who died before I was born) were huge fans of The New Republic. Over the years I was a reader of it as well. And now the magazine has entered into a new era. Literally:

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is purchasing the New Republic, the nearly century-old political magazine known for its influence in progressive circles, according to The New York Times.

Hughes’ acquisition comes as no big surprise. HuffPost’s Michael Calderone first reported about his interest in The New Republic in January. The magazine’s ownership, which includes editor-in-chief emeritus Marty Peretz, had earlier brought in the Blackstone Group to assist in finding a buyer…Hughes, who will assume the title “editor-in-chief,” told The Times that he would place particular emphasis on tablet computers, such as the iPad…

….The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but Hughes has indicated to The Times that he intends to increase the magazine’s budget for reporting and analysis — meaning the New Republic masthead is likely to grow considerably from its relatively meager 29-person headcount.

This is good news for journalism, which in recent years has seen daily newspapers wither and greatly downsize (fire people) as they try to adapt to changing advertising income and the Internet era. The Internet, on the other hand, has seen the birth of some big journalistic powerhouses (The Huffington Post for instance), but this is a case where the print magazine will survive but be seriously used as the embryo for a new, bigger journalistic creation that will also be available on new media platforms — and become a source of news and analysis for younger people, who aren’t as much into subscribing to print publications.