Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The New Republic strikes off on a new course

The New Republic is feeling the impact of its new, young millionaire owner Chris Hughes with a radical redesign of its publication and its online offerings. 

Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook, bought the magazine in 2012 and made himself the publisher and editor-in-chief. In an interview with NPR, he says that the venerable magazine -- which went through some difficult times over the past decade, including a brief ownership by the Aspers -- now sees over 20% of its traffic from mobile.
"Our model isn't altogether different from the models that magazines used previously. What is different is that it used to be, you give us $35 and we give you 20 issues of print a year. That just isn't gonna cut it in 2013. So now our model is, you give us $35 a year, we give you 20 issues of print, we also give you unlimited access on the Web, we give you audio versions, we give you comments — so the business model is much broader, but I also think in time it can be a profitable one. It may not be the same level as media companies made money in the late 20th century, but I think as long as we're focused on a high quality of journalism, then we can get to a point where it's sustainable, if not profitable. It will take some time, but I think we can get there." Welcome to our redesign
One of the innovations on the redesigned website are audio podcasts which allow readers to click on a link and have a story read to them.  (For an example, click on the little headphones at the right of this feature about Jill Kelley, one of the central figures in the David Petraeus scandal.)

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