The three-month negotiation that culminated in the sale of ‘The New Republic’ to Facebook’s Chris Hughes
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The news this morning that Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic has been in the making for several months now.
The future of the small but influential Beltway title had been a topic of speculation for some time, cropping up most recently back in January when The New York Times' DealBook blog reported that the magazine's owners were once again considering a sale.
But to whom?
By then, the rumor mill was churning: New York Observer owner Jared Kushner? Reuters? Yahoo? AOL? Bloomberg? Atlantic Media? The Washington Post Co.?
Huffington Post media reporter Michael Calderone's sources threw cold water on most of those names. And it was Calderone who first reported, on Jan. 12, that the 28-year-old Hughes was a candidate in the sale.
It appears that the official news this morning of Hughes' purchase of the magazine was placed to break with the Times (as many scoops are) at the same time The New Republic posted an announcement on its website at midnight. (The Times' item went up at 12:01.)
Hughes told the Times that he was motivated by “the future of high-quality long-form journalism” and that “five to 10 years from now, if not sooner, the vast majority of The New Republic readers are likely to be reading it on a tablet.”
He will become publisher and editor-in-chief in title, though Richard Just will remain "editor" in practice. Editor-in-chief emeritus Martin Peretz, who sold his last share in 2007, will now join the board.
In other news...
NBC is reportedly closing in on a $25 million deal to keep Matt Lauer. [Newsday]
David Folkenflik things the Obama Harvard Law School video wasn't a scoop no matter who had the goods first and fullest. [NPR]
Latest News Corp. phone-hacking victim: A priest. [Bloomberg]
Shuffling at the top of Time Inc. [W.W.D.]
John Koblin checks in with new Conde Nast entertainment division head Dawn Ostrof. [W.W.D.]
Scenes from the red carpet of the Game Change premiere. [The New York Observer]
Running the website JournalismJobs sounds like a decent job. [Jim Romenesko]
Newspapers are the fastest-shrinking industry in the U.S., according to new data from LinkedIn. [Business Insider]
Felix Salmon told a Columbia Journalism School audience that journalists should not be blamed for failing to prevent the financial crisis. [The Huffington Post]
The Boston Globe Magazine has been redesigned. [New York Times Co. press release]