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“The journalism in these pages will strive to be free of party ideology or partisan bias,” New Republic owner and Editor-in-Chief Chris Hughes writes in a letter reintroducing the 98-year-old magazine, whose redesign officially launches Monday.
Hughes “really thinks of [the magazine] as a start-up,” New Republic Editor Franklin Foer tells Christine Haughney, who covers the roll-out, which includes a cover story interview of President Obama by Hughes and Foer.
The Facebook co-founder “gently led the twice-a-month magazine out of its college newspaper culture in which editors pulled all-nighters,” Haughney writes, “and put in place a far more organized system in which articles are planned weeks in advance.” He’s added women writers, too, but “acknowledged that he was slower in transforming the magazine’s business side.”
Since he bought the magazine, subscriptions have grown to 44,177, from 34,000 since March, he said. (In 1993, at the magazine’s peak, the circulation was 102,392, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.) Newsstand sales have increased by 68 percent, to an average of 1,738 copies sold for the last five issues, from 1,034 copies an issue in 2011.
“It is going to take us a couple years, but profitability is our goal,” Hughes told Haughney.
Politico’s Dylan Byers finds the redesign “cold, slighly uninviting,” he writes. “‘The New Yorker of Washington, D.C.” this is not — not yet, anyway. There’s very little reporting. There are no dispatches. No “Letters from…” anywhere. … Maybe there will be room for those sorts of pieces when there isn’t an interview with the President of the United States to compete with.”
Jack Shafer seemed to like the relaunched TNR more:
— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) January 27, 2013
Shouldn’t we wait until the second issue of the new @tnr before we damn it to holy hell? That’s how I’ve set my alarm clock.
— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) January 28, 2013
Reuters’ Anthony De Rosa appreciated the site’s tech tools.
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) January 27, 2013
Hughes told ABC News, “we have to have a website where you can listen to our content, where you can engage in social conversations with it.”