The New Republic

Steven Brill says Chris Hughes is ‘not a man of his word’

Brill. (AP Image)

Brill. (AP Image)

The New York Observer

Steven Brill sat down with The New York Observer last week to talk about a wide variety of media issues, including his new, tantalizingly undefined project with former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson. While he was at it, he shared his less-than-flattering opinion of Chris Hughes, the owner of The New Republic.

Brill’s falling-out with Hughes dates back to 2012, when Hughes, who had just acquired the magazine, met with Brill and bought, sight unseen, his magnum opus on health care costs, promising that it would grace the cover of the relaunch issue.

I went home and told my wife that I was going to do that health care thing for The New Republic. She said, “God, are you a schmuck. You should give it to Remnick.”

As for the notorious moment when Hughes replaced the story with a Barack Obama interview at the last minute, Brill said that a star-struck Hughes just couldn’t get over the fact that the president was willing to talk to him.

Obama’s giving interviews out like candy and presidential interviews always suck. He said no, it’s an exclusive interview in the Oval Office. He must have repeated Oval Office nine times, like he couldn’t believe he was getting to go to the Oval Office.

Brill added that when Hughes laid off editor Franklin Foer and cut the production schedule, prompting editors to quit en masse in December, that was just the bungling of a young kid:

That is exactly the kind of rookie mistake I would make at 29,” Brill said. “So the mistake was easy to give him a pass on. But lying to me wasn’t.

In the end, he joked, Hughes did him a favor by pushing his story off the front page and giving him the chance to run it in Time Magazine. “Thank God that this guy Chris Hughes is not a man of his word.” Read more

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The New Republic and The Marshall Project go on a ‘blind date’

The New Republic and The Marshall Project on Friday jointly published “Inexcusable Absences,” a reported look at the legal questions surrounding school attendance laws.

The article is the first collaboration between The New Republic and The Marshall Project, a relatively young nonprofit news organization dedicated to criminal justice reporting. For The Marshall Project, the collaboration is a “blind date” of sorts, an experiment working with a magazine that has been remade in recent months, Marshall Project Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller wrote to Poynter.

“TNR is kind of a startup — I guess I should say a restartup — so we don’t know exactly what kind of magazine it will turn out to be, and what kind of audience it will have when it’s settled,” Keller said. “I’m a long time reader of TNR, dating back to Michael Kinsley’s heyday, and I’m curious to see whether the new, post-trauma version will live up to the tradition. You could call it a first, blind date.”

The New Republic has been rebuilt over the last few months under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Gabriel Snyder since the departure of Franklin Foer and many of the magazine’s senior staffers.

The New Republic, which in October co-published an article with ProPublica on Roe v. Wade, is on the lookout for partners with journalistic integrity who offer stories that fit with the magazine’s mission, Snyder said.

Although The New Republic doesn’t yet have any additional partnerships to announce, the magazine has been discussing the possibility of co-publishing stories in the future with “various different organizations,” Snyder said.

“There’s lots of innovation right now around producing high-quality journalism beyond just the handful of organizations that have done that in the past,” Snyder said. “And I think that so far, we’re seeing a lot of really interesting work being done, and I think that formula of expertise plus audience is one that can work for a lot of different people.”

For its part, The Marshall Project has joined forces with a slew of news organizations recently, including The Washington Post, Slate and The Atlantic. The goal of the partnerships, Keller says, is to “raise and sustain a sense of urgency about the way our country dispenses justice.”

“The point of partnerships is to reach a vast and demographically diverse audience, wherever we can find them, and educate them about the worrisome state of our criminal justice system,” Keller wrote. “Sometimes we do that through exclusive partnerships, sometimes by offering our work for republication by anyone who wants it.”

In addition to running “Inexcusable Absences,” on its website and in its latest issue, The New Republic also put work into preparing the article for publication, Snyder said. Theodore Ross, the magazine’s features director, edited the story with author Dana Goldstein to make it ready for the magazine. Maia Booker, the magazine’s photo editor, tracked down the photos that accompanied the story. Associate editor Adam Peck and product designer Silas Burton also pitched in, working on the print and digital presentations of the story.

Both Keller and Snyder are optimistic for the chances of another partnership opportunity. The possibility for a future collaboration will hinge partially on the success of the first, Keller said.

“To some extent that depends on the reach of and response to our first venture with them, and I haven’t seen the results yet,” he said. Read more

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Career Beat: Noam Scheiber named labor reporter at The New York Times

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Noam Scheiber is now covering labor at The New York Times. Previously, he was a senior editor at The New Republic. (Politico)
  • Rachel Van Dongen will “lead a new initiative” at The Washington Post’s national desk. Previously, she was a deputy managing editor at Politico. (Poynter)
  • Claudia Wallis is now managing editor at Scientific American Mind. Previously, she was associate dean of strategic communications at Columbia University. (Mediabistro)

Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for an immigration reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Career Beat: Julia Ioffe joins The New York Times Magazine

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Julia Ioffe will be a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. Previously, she was a senior editor of The New Republic. Jaime Fuller is joining New York magazine. She writes for The Fix blog at The Washington Post. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig will be a staff writer at The New Republic. She is a Ph.D. student at Brown University. (Politico)
  • Betsy Andrews will be editor-at-large at Organic Life. Previously, she was an executive editor of Saveur magazine. Karen Shimizu will be a deputy editor at Organic Life. Previously, she was a senior editor at Saveur magazine. (Fishbowl NY)
  • Eric Engleman is now technology editor at Politico Pro’s Pro Technology. Previously, he was deputy editor there. Tony Romm will be a senior technology reporter at Politico Pro’s Politico Pro Technology. Previously, he was a technology reporter there. (Email)

Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for a photographer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Career Beat: Steve Korioth named news director at WVVA-TV

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Steve Korioth is now news director at WVVA in Bluefield, West Virginia. Previously, he was interim news director there. (Rick Gevers)
  • Theodore Ross is now features director at The New Republic. Previously, he was a freelance writer for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic and Vice. (Poynter)
  • Kim Komenich is now an assistant professor of photojournalism at San Francisco State University. Previously, he was an assistant professor of new media studies at San Jose State University. (NPPA)

Job of the day: The Seattle Times is looking for a reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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Here’s where all those New Republic staffers are going

The messy and public firing of New Republic editor Franklin Foer in December prompted a wave of resignations from staffers at the magazine who foreswore the leadership of incoming editor Gabriel Snyder.

A running tally of journalists who resigned in protest compiled by New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza included many from the upper ranks of the magazine. In Lizza’s in-depth documenting TNR’s implosion, it was clear that a tug-of-war over the company’s digital strategy between new management and the old guard was a source of much friction. Vidra wanted to build a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and staffers were worried that journalism would receive short shrift. Here’s an anonymous source in Lizza’s story:

The editors were hardly opposed to giving greater attention to digital media, but they came to believe that Hughes was losing interest in the actual content of T.N.R.’s journalism and cultural criticism. “The only compliment Chris or Guy ever said about a piece was that it ‘did well,’ or it ‘travelled well,’ ” one of the staffers who resigned said. “If we had published Nietzsche’s ‘Birth of Tragedy,’ the only question would be, ‘Did it travel well?’ ‘Yes, Wagner tweeted it.’”

In the months since, several the staffers from The New Republic have landed on their feet at companies that look very much like the ones Snyder and Vidra are trying to build. And they’re poised to do work similar to the work they did at TNR. Here are some examples:

Leon Wieseltier, formerly literary editor at The New Republic, is now a contributing editor and critic at The Atlantic.

Alec MacGillis, formerly a senior editor at The New Republic, is now a staff writer at Slate.

Greg Veis and Rachel Morris, both executive editors at The New Republic, have joined The Huffington Post to help the company produce longform journalism and investigations. They are joined by former New Republic writer Jonathan Cohn.

What will the reimagined New Republic look like? Shortly after the falling out with Foer and staff, New Republic CEO Guy Vidra told Poynter he didn’t want The New Republic to resemble BuzzFeed, but that he admired the explainer-driven site Vox greatly. Read more

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Career Beat: Audrey Cooper named EIC of San Francisco Chronicle

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Audrey Cooper is now editor-in-chief of the San Francisco Chronicle. Previously, she was managing editor there. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Ann Curry will develop a media startup funded by NBC Universal. Previously, she was a national and international correspondent at NBC News. (New York Times)
  • Steven Komarow has been named news director for Roll Call. Previously, he was an editor at Bloomberg. (PR Newswire)
  • Jason Zengerle is now a political correspondent at GQ. Previously, he was a senior editor at The New Republic. (Email)
  • Jennifer Henrichsen is a technology fellow at Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Previously, she was a research fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. (Email)

Job of the day: BuzzFeed is looking for a Geeky Staff Writer. Get your résumés in! (BuzzFeed)

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Career Beat: Joe Germuska named Knight Lab interim director

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Joe Germuska will be interim director at the Knight Lab. Previously, he was director of software engineering there. (Knight Lab)
  • Millie Tran is now a writer for BuzzFeed’s news apps team. Previously, she was editorial coordinator at the American Press Institute. (Email)
  • Noah Kotch is senior editor and director of video at The Washington Post. Previously, he was chief content officer at Vocativ. (Washington Post)
  • Suzette Moyer will be a senior designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was creative director of Bay magazine at the Tampa Bay Times. Carey Jordan will be a designer at The Washington Post. Previously, she was art director at Washington City Paper. (Washington Post)
  • Josef Reyes will be creative director at Foreign Policy. Currently, he is art director at Wired. Sean Naylor is now a senior reporter at Foreign Policy. Previously, he was a senior writer at Army Times. Amanda Silverman is a print story editor at Foreign Policy. Previously, she was deputy editor at The New Republic. Ilya Lozovsky is assistant editor for Democracy Lab at Foreign Policy. He has written for CNN’s Global Public Square. (Email)
  • Kurt Soller is now editor of the Etc. section at Bloomberg Businessweek. Previously, he was deputy editor there. (Email)
  • Karen McKay is a senior account director at Vox Media. Previously, she was national sales director for RealClearPolitics. (Email)
  • Cathy Horyn is now critic-at-large at The Cut. Previously, she was a fashion critic at The New York Times. (Email)
  • Colby Smith will be vice president for ABC News Digital. Previously, he was director of business development for ABC News Digital. (Email)

Job of the day: High Country News is looking for a reporter in Washington, D.C. Get your résumés in! (High Country News)

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Career Beat: HuffPost adds three from The New Republic

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Tiffani Lupenski is now news director for KGTV in San Diego. Previously, she was news director for KATU in Portland, Oregon. (Rick Gevers)
  • Greg Veis has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was an executive editor at The New Republic. Rachel Morris has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, she was an executive editor at The New Republic. Jonathan Cohn has joined The Huffington Post. Previously, he was a writer for The New Republic. (The New York Times)
  • Kevin Uhrmacher has joined The Washington Post’s graphics team. Previously, he was an intern at The Washington Post. John Muyskens will join the graphics team at The Washington Post. He is a graduate of Calvin College. (Washington Post)
  • Lee Glendinning is now head of news for Guardian U.S. He is deputy editor there. (Capital New York)
  • Susan Svrluga will anchor “grade point,” a higher education blog from The Washington Post. Previously, she covered Virginia’s outer suburbs. (Washington Post)
  • Minju Pak will be managing editor of T Magazine. Previously, she was copy chief of WSJ magazine. (New York Times)
  • Sasha Frere-Jones will be executive editor at Genius. Previously, he was pop music critic for The New Yorker. (New York Times)
  • Cap Watkins is now vice president of design at BuzzFeed. He has worked for Etsy, Amazon, and Formspring. (Fast Company)

Job of the day: The Dallas Morning News is looking for a city hall reporter. Get your résumés in! (Poynter)

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Career Beat: The New Republic adds 4 staffers

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Jamil Smith will be a senior editor at The New Republic. He’s a producer at MSNBC. Elspeth Reeve will be a senior editor at The New Republic. Previously, she was a senior writer at Racket. Bijan Stephen will be an associate editor at The New Republic. Previously, he was an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair. Cathy Park Hong will be poetry editor at The New Republic. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College. (Poynter)
  • Alex Pareene will be special projects editor at Gawker Media. Previously, he was executive editor of The Racket. (Poynter)
  • Gregory Gittrich is chief content officer at Vocativ. Previously, he was founding general manager and editor of NBC News Digital. (Poynter)
  • David Allan will be editorial director of Health and Wellness at CNN Digital. Previously, he was a managing editor at BBC.com. (Poynter)
  • Larry Ingrassia will be associate editor at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was a deputy managing editor at The New York Times. (Poynter)
  • Tim Cavanaugh will be news editor at the Washington Examiner. Previously, he was news editor for National Review. Paige Winfield Cunningham will be a health care reporter for the Washington Examiner. Previously, she covered health care for Politico. Tara Copp will cover defense for the Washington Examiner. Previously, she was a defense analyst for the Government Accountability Office. (Fishbowl DC)

Job of the day: The Odessa (Texas) American is looking for a police reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

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