Big Changes at The New Republic

In this, the D.C. publication’s 100th year, a new direction. Tweeted out just a few moments ago by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik:



In the Twitter parlance of many a media watcher: boom and BOOM! More to come.

TNR currently has an office on Madison Avenue, but presumably operations will be consolidated.

According to New York magazine’s Marin Cogan (who also has the internal memo from CEO Guy Vidra), here’s how it more specifically went down:

Foer reportedly resigned this afternoon, as did Leon Wieseltier, the magazine’s longtime literary editor…

Foer served as TNR‘s editor from 2006 until his resignation in 2010, after a number of layoffs at the magazine, but returned to the position in 2012 after Facebook millionaire Chris Hughes purchased the publication. Hughes bought the magazine with promises to invest seriously in longform journalism and, after a major redesign, said he wanted to make it profitable.

Two years later, with the magazine struggling to gain footing online, tension began to build between Foer and Hughes.

Our sister site FishbowlDC has the farewell email from Foer.


Update (December 5):
What Somaiya was hearing Thursday is all too real. Per The Huffington Post‘s Michael Calderone, all sorts of people are out the door today, led by 14-year senior editor vet Jason Zengerle:

The departures include, according to sources with knowledge of the matter: Jonathan Cohn (senior editor), Isaac Chotiner (senior editor), Julia Ioffe (senior editor), John Judis (senior editor), Hillary Kelly (digital media editor), Adam Kirsch (senior editor), Alec MacGillis (senior editor), Rachel Morris (executive editor), Jeffrey Rosen (legal affairs editor), Noam Scheiber (senior editor), Judith Shulevitz (senior editor), Greg Veis (executive editor), Henri Cole (poetry editor) and Jennifer Homans (dance editor).

Calderone also has the long list of contributing editors throwing in the towel.

Update (December 6):
Via Dylan Byers, a number of the magazine’s senior editors released a statement of protest late Friday. It reads:

As former editors and writers for The New Republic, we write to express our dismay and sorrow at its destruction in all but name.

From its founding in 1914, The New Republic has been the flagship and forum of American liberalism. Its reporting and commentary on politics, society and arts and letters have nurtured a broad liberal spirit in our national life. The magazine’s present owner and managers claim they are giving it new relevance while remaining true to its century-old mission. Instead, they seem determined to strip it of the intellectual, literary, and political commitments that have been its essence and meaning. Their pronouncements suggest that they hold those commitments in contempt.

Update (December 6):
Per Ad Age‘s Michael Sebastian, the mass exodus of TNR staff has led the publication to table plans for a December 15 print issue:

The next issue will instead appear February 2, according to the spokesman. It will be the first of 10 issues scheduled for 2015, including two double issues.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
The New Republic Turns 100
Guy Vidra Named CEO of The New Republic

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.