December 4, 2014

New Republic Editor Franklin Foer told staffers in an email Thursday that he is leaving the publication. Gabriel Snyder will be the new editor, New Republic CEO Guy Vidra tells staffers in a memo. (An earlier version of this post said the publication would move to New York. Please see correction below.) It will also cut print frequency. His memo follows, too.

Snyder “reflects the ‘straddle generation’ of journalists and editors who remain deeply rooted in the qualities of traditional journalism…but also understands what it takes to create content that will travel across all platforms,” Vidra writes. The publication will be reimagined as a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and “we will also be making some changes to staff structure.”

Given this digital focus, it shouldn’t be a problem that Ryan Lizza asked to be taken off the masthead via Twitter.


The New Republic has been one of the great loves of my life–a set of ideas, a history, a collection of people I revere. I grew up here, made my best friends here, and learned so many profound lessons about the world in the process.

Part of the joy has been the struggle: We’ve fought to preserve an institution that was perpetually imperiled. It’s been hairy at moments, no doubt, but also exhilarating and immense fun. I’ve had an especially wonderful time these past two and half years. We’ve published essays and journalism that have actually, in moments, changed the world, or at least people’s opinions about the world.

I’ve always had a hard time imagining leaving here. That moment, however, has arrived. Chris and Guy have significant plans for this place. And their plans and my own vision for TNR meaningfully diverge. I’ve decided this is the right time for me to finish a book that is several years overdue and to work on a few other projects. I will miss everyone here immensely.

Much love, Frank

Vidra’s memo:

To All Staff,

I want to share some news about forthcoming changes at The New Republic.
As you’ve heard, Frank Foer is leaving the company. We are excited to announce that Gabriel Snyder will assume the role of Editor-in-Chief. In addition, Leon Wieseltier will be moving on.

In his time here, Frank has led a meaningful expansion of our team, has done a terrific job advancing the mission of our storied institution, and has continued to insert The New Republic’s voice into the national discourse. We wish him nothing but the best and are very grateful for all he’s done.

As we move forward under Gabriel’s leadership, we are re-imagining The New Republic as a vertically integrated digital media company. Gabriel is ideally suited to bridge traditional journalism and digital media. He is committed – as am I – to The New Republic’s mission of impact, influence and persuasion, but understands that fulfilling that mission in today’s media landscape requires new forms. He truly reflects the “straddle generation” of journalists and editors who remain deeply rooted in the qualities of traditional journalism – having worked with brands such as the New York Observer and The Atlantic – but also understands what it takes to create content that will travel across all platforms. We believe he is the right person to help us to maintain the core DNA of The New Republic, while propelling us forward to the 21st century.

Leon has made an unsurpassed contribution to The New Republic over the last 30 years, and the qualities that he represents are the beating heart of this brand. He is quite frankly an institution unto himself whose indelible mark on this place will never go away.

As we restructure The New Republic, we will be making significant investments in creating a more effective and efficient newsroom as well as improved products across all platforms. This will require a recalibration of our resources in order to deliver the best product possible. In order to do so, we’ve made the decision to reduce the frequency of our print publication from 20 to 10 issues a year and will be making improvements to the magazine itself.

Given the frequency reduction, we will also be making some changes to staff structure. This is not a decision we make lightly, but we believe this restructuring is critical to the long-term success of the company. We will be holding an all-hands meeting tomorrow to help answer any questions or concerns you may have.

And lastly – as some of you may know – we will be moving to a newly re-designed, expanded office in New York’s Union Square. New York was the original home of The New Republic, and we’re thrilled to further expand our presence here.

These are exciting times for our company which will demand change. We are committed to the roots of this magazine – an experiment in opinion to help address the challenges of our time. We can only do this together.


Gawker’s J.K. Trotter earlier reported a rumor that Gabriel Snyder would take over. Dylan Byers reports (and TNR staffers confirm to me) that literary editor Leon Wieseltier has also resigned.

Foer became editor of The New Republic in early 2012, after Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes bought the magazine.

Snyder currently works for Bloomberg Media, and was previously the editor of the Atlantic Wire (later the now-shuttered The Wire) and Gawker.

Correction: This post originally said The New Republic would move all operations to New York; in a subsequent email to employees, Vidra said he wanted to “clarify something from my earlier note. While I discussed our move to a new, expanded office in New York, by no means does that mean that we are shuttering DC, nor are we asking employees to relocate.”

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

More News

Back to News


Comments are closed.