Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Wants New Republic to be Tablet Technology Leader

The magazine’s new owner predicts “vast majority” of the publication’s readers will be accessing its content on tablets within five to 10 years.

The New Republic has a new owner, and he wants to make the nearly century-old magazine a leader in adapting to new technology.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes purchased a majority share in the magazine, and in a letter posted Friday on the New Republic’s website, wrote the magazine would “aggressively adapt” to new technologies without lessening its commitment to serious journalism. 

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“The Web has introduced a competitive, and some might argue hostile, landscape for long, in-depth, resource-intensive journalism,” Hughes wrote. “But as we’ve seen with the rise of tablets and mobile reading devices, it is an ever-shifting landscape—one that I believe now offers opportunities to reinvigorate the forms of journalism that examine the challenges of our time in all their complexity.” 

Hughes told the New York Times he would emphasize delivering the magazine’s content to tablets. He predicted that in five to 10 years “the vast majority” of its readers would be reading its stories on a tablet. Hughes said he did not plan on ending the New Republic's print product, nor does he expect the magazine to yield him the kinds of riches Facebook did.

“I’m investing and taking control of the New Republic because of my belief in its mission, not to make it the next Facebook,” Hughes said.

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Hughes has a net worth estimated in the hundreds of millions, wealth he acquired from his time at Facebook. He is openly gay, and has been involved in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage. In 2008, he spearheaded online outreach for President Barack Obama’s campaign.

Hughes will assume the title of “editor-in-chief,” and told the Times he plans on beefing up the publication’s staff dedicated to reporting and analysis. 

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