Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another One Is Getting Ready to Bite the Dust

Another liberal magazine looks like it's going into a death spiral. Newsweek died (or 99% died – I think it's still kinda hanging around) a couple years ago. Now, The New Republic appears to be falling apart.
On Thursday, the venerable Washington institution announced it is shifting its headquarters to New York, amid a shakeup that saw the resignation of its highest editors and promised to redefine the identity of a century-old institution that once served as liberalism’s leading voice. 
Franklin Foer, the top editor, sent a memo to staff in the afternoon announcing that he would be quitting due to differences of vision with the magazine’s owner, Chris Hughes, a 31-year-old Facebook co-founder who bought the magazine in 2012 and now aspires to reposition it as a “digital media company.” The move came, sources said, after Foer discovered that Hughes had already hired his replacement, Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who formerly ran The Atlantic Wire blog.
Further down, we learn that twelve senior editors and 'at least 20' contributing editors have resigned, and that the once-weekly magazine is cutting its publication frequency to less than monthly, planning ten issues per year.

As an aside, being a fan of good euphemisms and linguistic misdirection, I applaud this effort to avoid saying, “We're gonna be laying people off.”
“Given the frequency reduction, we will also be making some changes to staff structure,” Vidra wrote. “This is not a decision we make lightly, but we believe this restructuring is critical to the long-term success of the company.” 
Those who haven't already quit will no doubt be sending out lots of resumes.

As was not the case with Newsweek, I would be really sorry to see TNR die. Newsweek was always a POS (I used to say that,at its best, all you could say for it was that it was almost as good as Time). TNR, on the other hand, was often very good. It was a resource that could provide an intelligent exposition of the liberal viewpoint, and would even sometimes question liberal orthodoxy.

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