Rumors have been swirling for a while, and now it's official–The New Republic, venerable weekly magazine of the left, has been bought by Canadian media conglomerate CanWest (previously a minority share holder) which will take it bi-weekly starting mid-March. At that time it will become thicker (doubling up its page count) and glossier, with more photos and cartoons. The goal of the magazine, said editor Franklin Foer, is to "transcend ideology...to be the New Yorker of politics and to exude that sense of quality in literary terms, and also in reported terms."
According to Ben Smith at Politico, the magazine further aims to create a more robust website (we wonder, does "robust" mean no pay wall?). This newly revamped website will include "videos of writers and editors talking about politics" (which sounds a lot like bloggingheads.tv, which was founded by TNR alums and on which staffer Jonathan Chait makes frequent appearances). According to Martin Peretz (who is apparently retaining his one-quarter interest ) current news will go up on the TNR website "while the longer production cycle for the print magazine will give writers more time for reporting."
All of these changes are being welcomed by current editor Foer, who says he has been spending too much of his time pondering "how to revise the magazine's identity for the age of the blog." (An interesting sentiment when one considers the cover Foer ran last year.) Other changes? As the sharp-eyed among you may have noticed this morning, Peter Beinart will no longer write the magazine's TRB column, though he will "continue to write essays and would record videos as editor-at-large." Jonathan Chait will be taking his place as TRB writer. In addition to the aforementioned bloggingheads appearances, Chait also writes a Los Angeles Times column– between all these outlets, political media types will be seeing and reading alotta Chait.