Here is an article at the The American Prospect docummenting the recent problems at TNR from a somewhat insider perspective.
…liberal political magazines depend on wealthy donors in what is often an uneasy relationship.
That tension was evident in the implosion of The New Republic in early December, when nearly all the magazine’s well-known editors and writers quit after its owner, Facebook millionaire Chris Hughes, replaced the top leadership and announced he was turning the magazine into a “digital media company”…
The mass exodus from The New Republic in December was not the result, as some reports suggested, of disagreements about the value of new technology or the need to cut losses. As John Judis, one of the editors who left, recounts the conflict in the Columbia Journalism Review, the central issue was whether The New Republic would remain a political magazine. Hughes killed the editorials that spoke for the magazine; editorial meetings ceased to be occasions for engaging the central issues of the day. The new CEO installed by Hughes, Guy Vidra, had no experience in political journalism, except as a consultant to The Daily Caller, a right-wing site. The new editor hired by Vidra, Gabriel Snyder, had previously been an editor of Gawker. In defining its new role as a digital media company—with a new investment arm for start-ups—Hughes never mentioned politics.
Read the article. It’s interesting and applies to both left and right, but I don’t want to quote too much of it.
The take home message for our side is that small circulation niche print magazine are increasingly not economically viable, and rely on rich patrons who you are then at the mercy of. The future of right-wing pontificating is the internet whether we like it or not.
Here is what New Republic looks like now. I don’t know what it looked like before, but it doesn’t stike me as non-political, although it has a bit of a new website feel. Anyone know what it looked like before?