Multiple outlets are reporting that Chris Hughes has found a new owner for The New Republic: The Democratic fundraiser, Tin House publisher, and banking scion Win McCormack. The new owner, who is 71, told The Huffington Post that the deal would “preserv[e] the journal as an important voice in a new debate over how the basic principles of liberalism can be reworked to meet the equally demanding challenges of our era.”
Chris Hughes, the soon-to-be-former owner of The New Republic, recently purchased a West Village townhouse for $23.5 million (after unloading his old Soho loft for $8.5 million). According to the New York Post, Hughes’ new lair on West 12th Street boasts, among other amenities, a functional underground tunnel between its main building and a “carriage house” on the same property. But that’s not at all! Here’s what else we know about Hughes’ new tunnel:
Nearly four years after acquiring The New Republic for an undisclosed sum, Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes is putting the liberal magazine (and alma mater of Andrew Sullivan, Jonathan Chait, Leon Wieseltier, and Marty Peretz, among others) on the market. According to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal, Hughes apparently got tired of trying to transform a century-old print periodical into a successful online publication, a hopeful project that wound up costing him “over $20 million”:
Facebook multi-millionaire Chris Hughes is the 31-year-old patron of The New Republic. Recent turmoil at that magazine have inspired heated speculation about what kind of media owner Hughes really is, or intends to be. Visionary? Fraud? A new report by former New York Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers suggests a new theory: He’s just a very sensitive soul.
The Daily Beast’s Jamie Kirchick has written a long overdue dissection of the most prominent gay couple in politics: embattled New Republic ownerand Facebook millionaire Chris Hughes and twice-failed Congressional candidate Sean Eldridge. While the whole essay is worth reading, what sticks out is a rumor buried in the twenty-third paragraph:
Nine senior editors, two executive editors, one legal affairs editor, and one digital media editor resigned from The New Republic today, alongside 13 contributing editors.
Facebook's COO is mounting yet another PR offensive. But not on behalf of her current employer, though it could use some good press. No, Sheryl Sandberg is defending former boss Larry Summers against charges of sexism. Summers, who was Treasury Secretary under Clinton, is being talked up for the same role in Barack Obama's Cabinet. A controversial speech Summers gave as president of Harvard University — speculating that innate differences might have to do with women's lack of progress in math and science — could ruin his chances. Hence Sandberg's timely defense.But the defense is timely for Sandberg as well. Sandberg served as Summers's chief of staff before she moved to Silicon Valley and joined Google, setting her up for her current job at Facebook. Summers and Sandberg had a close professional relationship; he even escorted her as his guest to a White House dinner in 2000. At Google and Facebook both, colleagues roll their eyes as they recount how often she brings up her Washington experience and brags about how working in tech is a cakewalk compared to D.C. But Sandberg's tenure at Facebook has been controversial. She's been acting as if she's the company's No. 2 executive, despite CEO Mark Zuckerberg's reassurances that her role is limited and she's not a CEO-in-waiting. Several key tech and product executives have left since she's arrived — and, crucially, she has not made visible progress in improving the company's ad-sales operations. At least one prominent investor has been talking about "reining her in." So why not head back to D.C.? If Summers gets the Treasury job, he'll surely call on Sandberg for advice, and perhaps more. Will she be able to resist the call to public service? Her husband, Dave Goldberg, is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital — a placeholder job he could easily leave. Her children are young enough that she could move back east without disrupting their schooling. It might be a now-or-never opportunity. It must be on her mind — and on the agenda at Facebook's next board meeting. Sandberg leaving Facebook for the government gives everyone a graceful out from a bad situation. Zuckerberg could help give her a nudge; his cofounder, Chris Hughes, was the director of Obama's Web campaign. Perhaps he could put in a good word for Sandberg? If Summers gets the Treasury job, the only question is whether, having made millions at Google, she really wants to work as hard as she tells everyone she used to.
Did Barack Obama's Web czar just admit the campaign screwed up its announcement of Joe Biden as Obama's running mate? At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Chris Hughes, the Facebook cofounder who left in 2007 to help Obama campaign online, told a crowd of bloggers, including Steve Rhodes, that the plan to freeze out the media and alert supporters via text message and email didn't work out. "The last thing we wanted to do was send out the text message at 3 a.m.," said Hughes.And yet that's what Obama's campaign ended up doing. The plan was to send it out Saturday morning, not in the middle of the night — a time chosen to make things difficult for reporters with advance deadlines. But the campaign's hand, it seems, was forced by intrepid reporters who smoked out Biden by process of elimination. No worries, Chris. The scheme succeeded in its real aim — getting millions of cell-phone numbers to call and text in the runup to Election Day.
The great myth of every presidential campaign since 1996: This is the year that the Internet changes everything. The Valley would like to take credit for Barack Obama's coronation as the Democratic contender — after all, didn't Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes leave the hot startup to run Obama's Web operation? Obama did milk his tricked-out website for much-needed publicity, it's true. But now that he's hit the big time, he's spending his money on television, not the Web. Obama, McCain, the parties, and other political actors are expected to spend a record $800 million on television ads between now and the November election. Why spend money online? Targeted advertising means that Obama's just preaching to the converted, who persist in the delusion that inbound hyperlinks tracked by Technorati are as good as votes. They're not, and Obama knows it — which is why he's using the Web to take money, not spend it. As ever, Washington sees Silicon Valley as good for only one thing: its pocketbook, not its ideas.
They'll let just about anyone blog these days, won't they? News.com's latest addition: recovering adman Chris Matyszczyk, who writes under the rubric "Technically Incorrect," and reminds me a bit of Dan Lyons's alter ego, Fake Steve Jobs — except that, having met Matyszczyk briefly, I think this is the real thing, not a put-on person. Matyszczyk's fantasy phone call between Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg is hilarious: Clinton blames Zuckerberg for her loss to Obama, and then hits the paper billionaire up for a donation. What's really funny: Matyszczyk is outsidery enough not to mention the fact that Zuckerberg's cofounder, Chris Hughes, left the social network early on to run Obama's Web campaign. Zuckerberg's posse really is at fault, and not in a metaphorical Facebook-generation way.
Barack Obama's campaign for president has raised a staggering $200 million from contributors through the Web, tapping Valley talent like Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and Mark Gorenberg, a VC with Hummer Winblad. Obama has surpassed fundraising efforts by his primary opponent Hillary Clinton, even though she's raised more money for her campaign than her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ever did in winning an election. And he's doing it under the rules put in place by the Republican candidate, John McCain, under the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. You can read all the details in The Atlantic's 5,243-word feature by Joshua Green, but a summary, 98-word paragraph is all you need to read.
The Facebook Prom was prophetic, signaling farewells, graduation, and the ending of teenage ties. As his colleagues were preparing to dance the night away at the Metreon, CTO Adam D'Angelo, a high school buddy of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was saying his farewells. BoomTown reports that D'Angelo, 23, is leaving the company because "his responsibilities no longer fit well with his skills and interests." Even as the company tries to recreate a high-school environment to keep its employees tightly knit, Zuckerberg's own social network is fraying.
We know what Facebook cofounders Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes are up to. Zuck lets COO Sheryl Sandberg run most of the company now while he plays industry visionary; Moskovitz is hiding from Valleywag's fearsome scrutiny; and Hughes is busy spamming your inbox with updates from Obama campaign director David Plouffe — sorry, revolutionizing politics on the Web. But where have unacknowledged cofounders Andrew McCollum and Eduardo Saverin gone? Their Facebook profiles aren't open to the public, but rival social network LinkedIn isn't nearly so skittish. Here are their profiles, with our notes: