Wednesday, February 28, 2007

CanWest buys out editor-in-chief
at The New Republic

CanWest now owns 100% of the New Republic. When it bought control, editor-in-chief Martin Peretz was said to be retaining a 25% stake. But according to a story in the New York Observer, that was just a negotiating hiatus and Peretz has now sold his stake, which means that, for the first time in 30 years, he owns nothing of the magazine he edits (at least for now).

There are no guarantees in the sale that Peretz will stay as EIC. Most of the heavy lifting on CanWest's revamp of the magazine is being done by editor Franklin Foer, whom Peretz hired a year ago. (It seems likely that after a decent interval, Peretz will be given emeritus status, perhaps as an editor-at-large and keeping his blog, The Spine.)

According to the Observer story, Foer and art director Joe Heroun are planning to make the magazine much different than its current dour self.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to take this institution that I’ve always worshipped, and try to take it very distinctly in a different kind of direction,” Mr. Foer said.
That direction will be a departure from the current Spartan, college-magazine look.
“Drew Friedman has a column in the makeover,” said Mr. Foer. “We’re going to have a lot of stand-alone pieces from illustrators, artists. One of my ambitions is to experiment with fine art in the magazine, too.”
“We’re adding new little cuts in the magazine, like those little spoon-size illustrations that The New Yorker has,” Mr. Foer said. “We will have original photography in the first issue.”

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