The majority of the editorial staff at a prestigious Washington magazine resigned en masse this week, following the departure of top editors over disagreements with the owner’s plans.
Top editor Franklin Foer and longtime literary editor Leon Wieseltier left The New Republic, clashing with owner Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, who is pushing for a new direction for the publication, which has helped shape liberal politics in the U.S. over the course of its 100-year history. The departure of Foer and Wieseltier was quickly followed by nine of the magazine’s twelve senior editors, two executive editors, the digital media editor, the legislative affairs editor, two arts editors and at least 20 contributing editors, Politico reports.
In a memo sent to the staff, Guy Vidra, who was recently hired by Hughes to be The New Republic‘s first CEO, said he wanted to remake the magazine into “a vertically integrated digital media company.” The publication announced plans to cut in half the number of print issues it publishes each year and expand editorial staff in New York City. (The magazine is currently headquartered in Washington, D.C.)
“Thing is, neither Chris Hughes nor Guy Vidra bothered to communicate anything to the editorial staff,” tweeted Julia Ioffe, a senior editor who resigned. “There is no vision, just Silicon Valley mumbo-jumbo.”
Hughes said in a statement Friday that The New Republic “can and will be preserved, because it’s bigger than any one of us.”