A year ago, Chris Hughes, owner of the New Republic, vowed to continue his fight to transform the century-old magazine into a more digitally-focused media operation, despite a mass walkout by staffers who bristled at his efforts. On Monday, he said he was done.
The 32-year-old Mr. Hughes announced that he is putting the magazine up for sale. He admitted he had underestimated “the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate.”
“After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over US$20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic,” he wrote in a memo to staff.
The admission of defeat marked a sharp reversal from 2012 when theFacebook co-founder purchased a majority stake in the struggling magazine and expressed high hopes that the fast-evolving digital landscape had created great opportunities to “reinvigorate” the brand.
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