Chris Hughes, one of Mark Zuckerberg’s roommates who helped found Facebook, is reported to be interested in buying US left-of-centre magazine The New Republic after it was reported earlier this week that the almost 100-year old title is looking for investors.
Hughes is said to be worth around $700m on the back of co-founding Facebook, but this foray into liberal politics is not something that has come out of the blue as new tech money looks to spend.
Hughes worked as director of online organising for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and he was highly praised by the Obama team for his work on the President’s successful digital campaign.
The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reported earlier this week that the ownership team is weighing a sale of the title, which was founded in 1914, and have hired a financial advisor. While it is a money loser, down about $1m a year, it is still seen as a highly influential title.
Back in 2010 Hughes launched social media non-profit Jumo and last month he was reported to be backing a “viral media start-up” with former MoveOn.org executive director Eli Pariser.
The New Republic is currently owned by former editor-in-chief Marty Peretz along with investors, led by former Lazard executive Laurence Grafstein.
Other potential buyers for New Republic include Bloomberg News and New York Observer owner Jared Kushner.