Guy Vidra's resignation hammers final nail into Chris Hughes' era of New Republic
Guy Vidra, former head of Yahoo News, has resigned as CEO on the New Republic.
The fact that it’s hard to care about any headline containing “New Republic” and “Yahoo News” says everything you need to know about the cause and effect of Chris Hughes’ destruction of the “in flight magazine of Airforce One.”
It was the decision to hire folks like Virdra -- who, Vanity Fair tells us, likes to quote liberally from Ben Horiwitz’s book on startup life -- that began the editorial destruction of the magazine. It was Vidra who hired former Gawker staffer Gabriel Snyder as editor, without bothering to tell the guy already holding the job, Franklin Foer. Cue editorial exodus. Vidra and Snyder oversaw a shift from the admittedly often dry political reporting and cultural commentary of the Old New Republic to the New New Republic of clickbait, hot takes and other social media crowd-pleasing.
We all know what happened next: Vidra’s plan to turn a storied magazine into a “vertically integrated digital media company caused traffic to crater, relevance to evaporate and, finally, Hughes to decide he actually wasn’t that interested in being a media mogul after all. The New New Republic was sold to publisher Win McCormack in February.
The real winner here, of course is -- no pun intended -- Win McCormack. Much as it took someone like Donald Trump to give Ted Cruz a shot at the White House (or Hillary to enable Bernie, if you prefer), it took the disastrous ownership of Chris Hughes to allow the editor in chief of literary magazine Tin House to seize control of TNR.
The fact that Snyder promptly resigned, followed quickly by Vidra, telegraphs pretty clearly that the New New New Republic will likely have more in common with the Old New Republic than the New New Republic. At least let’s hope so. There are some things that the coll Internet kids just need to leave the fuck alone.