The New Republic, the century-old magazine that was rocked a year ago by the mass exodus of its staff following an effort by its owner to make it more digitally focused, is being put up for sale. Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook who purchased a majority stake in the struggling title in 2012, said in a staff memo Monday that he had underestimated “the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate,” and would seek to find a new owner.....ADDED: My son John posted about this on Facebook, I commented there, and Timothy Noah (late of TNR and now of Politico) responded. I said I was interested in what he had to say, and he wrote this:
New owner should take a leaf from the supposedly market-worshipping right and not expect TNR to return a profit. If that's good enuf for National Review and the Weekly Standard why can't it be good enough for a magazine put out by people who are far less reverent about the virtues of untrammelled free enterprise? Plus the one GOOD thing about this golden age of income inequality is that it's produced a lot of rich people who can easily afford to subsidize a modest annual deficit. Hughes's mistake--a common one--was to pour a lot of money into the thing that he was never going to get back. Hence $20 million in losses over only four years. Also, the magazine should stop doing "long form" journalism because it's too expensive and it isn't really what TNR's been about all these years anyway. It should do lots of 1500- to 2000-word politicalreportage flavored with judicious opinion and wit, and it should do longer literary essays. In other words, it should be like the TNR of the 1980s only online and without the Cold War hawker. New owner should recapture its audience of political junkies, academics, and the intelligentsia, all of whom, I get the sense, have abandoned the magazine since Hughes took over.AND: Roger Kimball: "ANYONE WANT TO BUY A CORPSE? YOURS FOR A BUCK."