Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, has confirmed the sale of The New Republic, after a failed attempt to revitalize the century-old magazine. Win McMormack, political activist and publisher of Tin House, has emerged as the buyer.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Hughes purchased the title in 2012 and set out to turn the liberal mouth piece into a multiplatform media company, but things didn’t quite work out. Not only did the brand suffer a mass exodus when several staffers lost faith in Hughe’s vision, but it also cut frequency and never truly established itself in the digital space.
In a company memo last month, Hughes was candid when he announced his intentions to sell by saying. “I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate.”
Now McMormack and his newly named publisher and editorial director, Hamilton Fish, will undertake that challenge. But McCormack indicates he has no plans to change the brand’s historical mission. He says in a statement, “We intend to continue in that same tradition, preserving the journal as an important voice in a new debate over how the basic principles of liberalism can be reworked to meet the equally demanding challenges of our era.”
No word yet on what this means for CEO, Guy Vidra, who Hughes hired in 2014 in an attempt to right the ship. Likewise, McCormack has made no comments on other staff changes beyond Fish.