Chris Hughes is selling the New Republic

Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook, is selling the magazine he sought to remake into a digital media company.

After pouring $20 million into the magazine, he's in talks to sell the the New Republic to "larger media companies, digital startups and philanthropic groups," according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The sale stems from challenges to find a sustainable business model for the magazine, he announced on Medium:

After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic,” the memo read. “Although I do not have the silver bullet, a new owner should have the vision and commitment to carry on the traditions that make this place unique and give it a new mandate for a new century.”

Hughes bought The New Republic in 2012 for an undisclosed sum, citing an interest in "the future of high-quality long-form journalism." He presided over an exodus of the paper's staff in late 2014 that was triggered by the ouster of then-editor Frank Foer. Other New Republic stalwarts, including literary editor Leon Wieseltier, followed Foer out the door.

Since then, the New Republic has set about reinventing itself as a "vertically integrated digital media company," an effort that has included a new website, a redesigned magazine, many new hires and a creative agency.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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