It was just over a year ago that publisher Chris Hughes called print “the crown jewel” in The New Republic’s brand. Since that time, the staff – including the editor-in-chief and several others – have left or been shown the door, and the magazine has revamped just about everything, from design to editorial to publication schedule.
“The redesign, with Brooklyn-based design firm Mgmt., uses more white space and bolder color palettes and downplays ‘The’ in what was once universally known as The New Republic,” writes Kevin Kelly in the New York Post.
Ooh lala: the New Republic has a new design. pic.twitter.com/Akbg89KNTu
— New Republic (@tnr) August 11, 2015
“Most of the old columns have been dropped. New columns include the Big Data tech column by Paul Ford and the Edible Life food column by writer Corby Kummer.”
While the magazine is now publishing 10 times a year (down from 20), the goal is to make the content more evergreen, with “the kind of well-researched, hard-hitting reporting that characterized the publication in years gone by,” Kelly notes.
Change is never easy, and the staff had a massive dust-up this winter when the editor-in-chief was let go. Apparently a good portion of the staff walked out around the same time, so Hughes was left to rebuild and retool, a process that is still going on according to Kelly.
“Hughes and his new chief executive officer, Guy Vidra, were determined to cut the annual losses that were estimated to be running in the $5 million-a-year range and overhaul the editorial operation to make it more digitally oriented,” Kelly explains
“Vidra famously said the aim was to become a ‘vertically integrated digital media company’. That sparked the stampede for the exit,” he continues.
An overhaul of the digital product is expected later this year, and while Hughes may talk about print as the crown jewel, he’s quick to note that “it would be a mistake to say print is our main focus. People are contributing across all the formats.”
Look for the new issue in newsstands now.