Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic, and installed himself as the influential liberal magazine's publisher and editor in chief, the publication announced today. Hughes, a new-media guru who also helped run Barack Obama's online operation in 2007, tells the New York Times that he wanted to invest in "the future of high-quality long-form journalism," and says his main focus will be bringing the New Republic to tablets. And as for turning a profit—something that's not happening now—"profit per se is not my motive. I'm investing and taking control of The New Republic because of my belief in its mission, not to make it the next Facebook," he said.
"Five to 10 years from now, if not sooner, the vast majority of The New Republic readers are likely to be reading it on a tablet," he says. In a letter to the Republic's readers, he explained that the social media-driven web had developed an arguably "hostile landscape" for long-form reporting, but that such work could thrive on tablet screens. "Although the method of delivery of important ideas has undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated," he added.