The New Republic, the century-old magazine that was rocked a year ago by the mass exodus of its staff following an effort by its owner to make it more digitally focused, is being put up for sale.
Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook who purchased a majority stake in the struggling title in 2012, said in a staff memo Monday that he had underestimated “the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate,” and would seek to find a new owner.
“After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic,” the memo read. “Although I do not have the silver bullet, a new owner should have the vision and commitment to carry on the traditions that make this place unique and give it a new mandate for a new century.”
A person familiar with the matter said the 32-year-old Mr. Hughes had already begun preliminary talks with a variety of potential buyers, including larger media companies, digital startups and philanthropic groups. In the memo, Mr. Hughes, said finding a sustainable business model for the magazine had so far proven elusive.
“The New York Times, The Atlantic, and other traditional outlets seem to have found business models that work for them. I hope that this institution will one day be part of that list. To get there, The New Republic needs a new vision that only a new owner can bring,” he said.
The person close to the situation said Mr. Hughes was looking at a non-profit structure as one possible solution for the magazine.