Chris Hughes Puts The New Republic Up for Sale

Makes Announcement in a Staff Memo

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Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes. Credit: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Chris Hughes' ownership of The New Republic looks like it will come to an end.

The Facebook co-founder, in a staff memo later published on Medium, announced that he is seeking a new owner for the magazine, which he acquired in 2012.

"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," Mr. Hughes wrote. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Hughes, in the memo, admitted that he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today's quickly evolving climate."

A spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Conversations with potential suitors will take place "over the coming weeks," he said, adding that the magazine's staff will remain intact during that process.

"This next chapter could take many forms," Mr. Hughes wrote. "Perhaps it should be run as part of a larger digital media company, as a center-left institute of ideas, or by another passionate individual willing to invest in its future."

Mr. Hughes was just 28 years old when he acquired the magazine with a plan to modernize it and to inject some of his digital media know-how into what was once a must-read for Washington, D.C., insiders.

His ownership's biggest challenge came in December 2014, when the decision to replace editor Franklin Foer led to something of a staff revolt. The magazine, which launched a native advertising studio called Novel last summer, spent much of 2015 restocking its editorial talent pool.

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