The New Republic
Chris Hughes is a 29-year-old entrepreneur who hopes to make profits from a 98-year-old magazine, reports Christine Haughney in The New York Times (1/28/13). “We’re holding onto the heritage of the magazine while trying to make it more responsive to what people are interested in and how they read in 2013,” says Chris, a Facebook co-founder who purchased The New Republic last year. His plans involve a mix of features and media platforms both new and old.
From an editorial standpoint, the magazine now combines re-runs of classic articles from the past, such as “Edmund Wilson’s dispatch from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inauguration," and lighter fare from the pop-culture present, including “topics like electronica and the HBO series ‘Girls’.” A revamped web site and new app meanwhile offer “audio versions of articles and the ability to let users read pieces on multiple devices, continuing on one at the spot where they left off at the other.”
Both subscriptions and newsstand sales are up under Chris’s watch, however Time magazine’s Fareed Zakaria, a former New Republic intern, questions the venture’s moneymaking potential. “My impression is the goal here is not to make money, but to make an impact politically, culturally, intellectually,” he says. Chris admits that magazine margins aren’t as big as they used to be, but insists his plan will fly because people will still pay for content. “It’s going to take us a couple years, but profitability is our goal,” he says.