The New Republic has abruptly disintegrated, NPR reports.
We have more news today on The New Republic, which on Thursday announced that it was cutting its publication schedule, moving its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to New York and rebranding as a digital media company – decisions that prompted the departure of editor Franklin Foer and longtime literary editor Leon Wieseltier.
The majority of the magazine’s masthead resigned today, including senior editors Julia Ioffe, Noam Scheiber, executive editors Rachel Morris and Greg Veis, and contributing editors Anne Applebaum and Jonathan Chait. (You can find the full list over at Politico.)
It has emerged that Foer resigned after discovering that TNR’s owner, Chris Hughes, had already hired Gabriel Snyder, who previously held senior jobs at Bloomberg, The Atlantic‘s website and Gawker, as his replacement.
Politico reported that late Thursday several staffers gathered at Foer’s Washington residence for what was described as “a funeral” for the magazine.
That’s very unfortunate. TNR had moved a good deal too far to the right for my liking, but it did some quality work, especially in book reviews.
NPR quotes a public Facebook post by Ioffe today:
Today, I did something I thought I’d never do and quit The New Republic. It has been, hands down, the happiest, most satisfying, most intellectually stimulating place I’ve ever worked and my colleagues were, hands down, the most competent, talented, and decent people in the business.
The narrative you’re going to see Chris and Guy put out there is that I and the rest of my colleagues who quit today were dinosaurs, who think that the Internet is scary and that Buzzfeed is a slur. Don’t believe them. The staff at TNR has always been faithful to the magazine’s founding mission to experiment, and nowhere have I been so encouraged to do so. There was no opposition in the editorial ranks to expanding TNR’s web presence, to innovating digitally. Many were even board for going monthly. We’re not afraid of change. We have always embraced it.
As for the health of long-form journalism, well, the pieces that often did the best online were the deeply reported, carefully edited and fact-checked, and beautifully written. Those were the pieces that got the most clicks.
Also, TNR’s digital media editor Hillary Kelly resigned today. From her honeymoon. In Africa. Consider that.
But enough polemics about the cowardly, hostile way Frank and Leon and the rest of us were treated. We’ve done some incredible work in the last 2.5 years and I’m proud of every day I ever worked there. I loved The New Republic, and, more than that, I love my colleagues. They are exceptional, earth-movingly good people. I will miss working with them every day.
If it were National Review I wouldn’t care, but it’s not. It has a much longer and much more substantive history.