Chris Hughes to Sell The New Republic

Chris Hughes (AP)
January 11, 2016

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes is selling The New Republic.

In a memo sent to staff on Monday, Hughes said that the publication needs a new business model and is starting to have conversations with those looking to purchase the magazine within the coming weeks.

In the memo, Hughes said that he had underestimated the difficulty of transitioning the magazine into a digital media company. Hughes also blamed the ever-changing climate.

Hughes was 28 years old when he purchased The New Republic in 2012 and invested more than $20 million. In December 2014, Hughes cut the print magazine from 20 to 10 issues a year and moved the headquarters from Washington, D.C., to New York City. He faced a large population of the staff revolting after the decision to replace editor Franklin Foer.

"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," Hughes' memo read.

The liberal magazine once touted itself as the "in-flight magazine" of Bill Clinton's Air Force One. Following the massive exodus of magazine staff veterans and contributors, many have blamed Hughes Silicon Valley style of management. The web traffic had declined by more than 50 percent and has not risen much in the past year.

"Yet I will be the first to admit that when I took on this challenge nearly four years ago, I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate," Hughes wrote.

Hughes said that the staff will remain in place over the coming weeks.