Lede to my story on the new New Republic in M, a new magazine that doesn’t have a web site so deal with it, a new magazine that doesn’t have a bar code on the cover because it’s not some rag, a new magazine by the wonderfully eccentric.. Patrick McCarthy!
CAN THIS MAN SAVE THE NEW REPUBLIC?
…While his onetime roommate, Mark Zuckerberg, was known as the grumpy genius behind the social network, Hughes functioned as Facebook’s polite and presentable front man. So when he purchased a majority stake in The New Republic this past March, it didn’t put much of a scare into anyone. That changed in May, when he showed he wasn’t going to play nice.
First, he surprised his staff members and interested onlookers by dumping New Republic editor Richard Just and replacing him with Frank- lin Foer, who had run the magazine from 2006 to 2010. Then he gave Foer the go-ahead (and the cash) to court big names—Dexter Filkins and Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, Hanna Rosin of The Atlantic, as well as Robert Draper and Mark Leibovich of The New York Times. At the Times, the reaction to the wooing of Leibovich was dismissive. “Why would he go?” a source told me. “It’s just a small operation.”
But genuine concern set in when word leaked out that Foer was offering Leibovich “an outlandish amount of money.” Richard Berke, a Times assistant managing editor, “bent over backwards,” a source says, to assemble a package meant to keep Leibovich from jumping. It included a salary bump and a new post as chief national correspondent at The New York Times Magazine. Leibovich ended up staying, as did most of the others wined and dined by The New Republic, but his employers had learned that Hughes wasn’t fooling around.
“That’s a good thing, to be competing with the Times,” Hughes says. “I think reporters and editors and advertisers, people are watching closely.”
Wanna read the rest? Here’s a phrase I never thought Id say: buy a digital PDF. OR! preferably, don’t get cheap on me and go pick up a copy at a real-life newsstand. Smell the newsstand man! Buy M!