Journal's staff resign en masse as owner reveals plans to go digital

More than 30 editors and contributing editors announced their resignation

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The Independent US

Staff at US politics and culture magazine The New Republic staged a mass walk-out yesterday after its owner, Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes and newly appointed chief executive Guy Vidra announced plans to transform the publication into a digital platform.

Mr Hughes, who shared his college dorm with Facebook entrepreneur Mark Zuckerberg, unveiled plans to replace the journal’s long-running top editor, Franklin Foer, with former Atlantic Wire editor Gabriel Snyder, allegedly without officially telling Mr Foer.

More than 30 editors and contributing editors announced their resignation yesterday morning, just three weeks after the firm reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the journal’s 100th anniversary gala dinner.

A joint letter of resignation signed by 10 contributing editors said: “Our commitment to the venerable principles of the magazine requires us now to resign. Please remove our names from the masthead.”

Senior editor John Judis, who also resigned yesterday, said: “The New Republic was always a small political magazine that was trying to change the world. Hughes and Vidra have decided to transform [it] into a profit-making media center [sic] that is entirely different....”

In a statement last night, Mr Hughes said: “I am saddened by the loss of such great talent,” adding that the journal was “bigger than any one of us”.