Chris Hughes, who has a lot of money, has bought a “majority share” of The New Republic, which has been sitting rather sadly on the auction block, getting hotter and more spoiled, like a cube of bloody meat on a stump in a dusty town square. Who will buy this delicious, if exceedingly tiny, piece of meat that has been sitting in the sun for days now? It comes with a long and storied and difficult and often ugly history!
Hughes will! And now he has taken the title of “Editor and Publisher” of TNR, whose mindshare was stolen by The Atlantic, Talking Points Memo, and Slate, Salon and probably Thought Catalog. Okay, buddy. I like you. First step. Renounce at least one of those two titles.
I know that rich people get whatever they want, and no one tells them no, but you’re 28, you have never been an editor or a publisher, and also those are two jobs that are in opposition to each other. Sure, you told Richard Just that he was still really in charge of editorial, but you’re undermining him already and this already looks like he’ll be fired by, hmm, I’ll say August, because you move kinda slowly. (And there’s already an executive editor, too. Also there was already a publisher at TNR? One with 86 Twitter followers.) The editor represents the editorial interests; the publisher represents the business interests. Oftentimes the editor and publisher hold hands and walk in the town square, looking at all the other fun pieces of meat, but more often it’s argument and pushing and pulling and sometimes some wig-snatching. Don’t do this. (Also the editor-in-chief and publisher usually live in the same city as the publication?)
Isn’t, like, “owner” good enough anyway?
Okay, and: just don’t talk to the press at all until 2013. Be quiet and do things. It works. And don’t talk about magazines and iPads too much, it’s a dicey subject. Plus, let’s be honest, Jumo was kind of a hot mess tech- and success-wise, and you barely got out of that one intact, though, “selling” it to Good was the best possible resolution to that, so, yay.
Also try not to talk about the “hostile” landscape of the web for long-form journalism any more, too: it’s a long-disproven lie, as plenty of us know, and you’re going to sink some money into this puppy and that’s all good, we appreciate it, and most everyone will be quiet for a while while you work on turnaround and bringing the publication out of the 1940s. (Not coincidentally, probably the decade in which most subscribers were born, God bless them.)
Hmm, what else? Right: also, remember to have a good time!