iOS app Android app More

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Buys The New Republic

The Huffington Post  |  By Peter Finocchiaro  |  Posted: 03/ 9/2012 1:34 am Updated: 03/ 9/2012 10:38 am

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is purchasing the New Republic, the nearly century-old political magazine known for its influence in progressive circles, according to The New York Times.

Hughes' acquisition comes as no big surprise. HuffPost's Michael Calderone first reported about his interest in The New Republic in January. The magazine's ownership, which includes editor-in-chief emeritus Marty Peretz, had earlier brought in the Blackstone Group to assist in finding a buyer.

Hughes is worth hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to his days at Facebook. He was also a key player in President Obama's online organizing efforts in 2008. More recently, Hughes, who is openly gay, has become involved in the fight for same-sex marriage along with his partner Sean Eldridge, political director for the group Freedom To Marry.

In a letter to readers, posted on the magazine's website early Friday, Hughes wrote:

In the next era of The New Republic, we will aggressively adapt to the newest information technologies without sacrificing our commitment to serious journalism. We will look to tell the most important stories in politics and the arts and provide the type of rigorous analysis that The New Republic has been known for. We will ask pressing questions of our leaders, share groundbreaking new ideas, and shed new light on the state of politics and culture.

Hughes, who will assume the title "editor-in-chief," told The Times that he would place particular emphasis on tablet computers, such as the iPad:

[Hughes] focus, he said in an interview in advance of the announcement, will be on distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad. Though he does not intend to end the printed publication, “five to 10 years from now, if not sooner, the vast majority of The New Republic readers are likely to be reading it on a tablet,” he said.

Editor Richard Just, who will retain his post under the new ownership, wrote his own letter to New Republic readers, stating:

For all of us at TNR—and, really, for anyone who believes in the enduring value of intellectual magazine journalism—this is a wonderful day. My colleagues and I can’t wait to work with Chris to bring the vision of magazine journalism we all share to more and more readers, and to continue the process of figuring out how this kind of journalism can thrive in the age of the Internet and the iPad.

The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but Hughes has indicated to The Times that he intends to increase the magazine's budget for reporting and analysis -- meaning the New Republic masthead is likely to grow considerably from its relatively meager 29-person headcount.

The new owner told NPR that "[p]eople still want independent, rigorous reporting and The New Republic has been a place where that happens." He also emphasized "freedom, equality and American responsibility" as core values written into the publication's DNA.

Also on HuffPost:

The top magazines of 2011.
Loading Slideshow...
  • 25. ESPN magazine

    Circulation: 2,128,345 (-0.2% from same time last year)

  • 24. FamilyFun magazine

    Circulation: 2,130,223 (7.3% from same time last year)

  • 23. Redbook

    Circulation: 2,229,809 (0.3% from same time last year)

  • 22. American Legion

    Circulation: 2,232,287 (-2.3% from same time last year)

  • 21. Parenting

    Circulation: 2,232,588 (0.2% from same time last year)

  • 20. Glamour

    Circulation: 2,300,854 (-3.1% from same time last year)

  • 19. O Magazine

    Circulation: 2,417,589 (-1.1% from same time last year)

  • 18. AAA Living

    Circulation: 2,439,193 (-0.8% from same time last year)

  • 17. Southern Living

    Circulation: 2,824,751 (-0.6% from same time last year)

  • 16. Prevention

    Circulation: 2,884,542 (-1.6% from same time last year)

  • 15. Cosmopolitan

    Circulation: 3,017,987 (0.0% from same time last year)

  • 14. Sports Illustrated

    Circulation: 3,065,507 (-4.4% from same time last year)

  • 13. Taste of Home

    Circulation: 3,207,340 (-0.8% from same time last year)

  • 12. Ladies Home Journal

    Circulation: 3,229,809 (0.8% from last year)

  • 11. Time

    Circulation: 3,301,056 (0.7% from same time last year)

  • 10. Woman's Day

    Circulation: 3,394,754 (-1.6% from same time last year)

  • 9. People

    Circulation: 3,542,185 (-0.6% from same time last year)

  • 8. National Geographic

    Circulation: 4,001,937 (-5.4% from last year)

  • 7. Family Circle

    Circulation: 4,014,881 (-2.1% from same time last year)

  • 6. Good Housekeeping

    Circulation: 4,396,795 (1.2% from last year)

  • 5. Reader's Digest

    Circulation: 5,241,484 (-6.0% from same time last year)

  • 4. Better Homes and Gardens

    Circulation: 7,624,505 (0.1% from same time last year)

  • 3. Game Informer

    Circulation: 7,829,179 (-4.2% from same time last year)

  • 2. AARP Bulletin

    Circulation: 21,701,445 (-2.6% from same time last year)

  • 1. AARP Magazine

    Circulation: 21,931,184 (-2.7% from same time last year)

FOLLOW MEDIA