Former Facebook exec says publication will be profitable
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/21/2013 -- Chris Hughes, the former Facebook executive and multi-millionaire bought up the struggling New Republic publication last year, critics were quick to note that there was little sense in the purchase.
The 29-year-old Hughes spoke about the magazine at the Dive Into Media conference, offering few clear answers to the questions regarding the future profitability of the publication.
According to Hughes, the New Republic currently has 44,000 subscribers, which is up by 34,000 since his purchase. Despite the small number, the owner notes that “for the moment, we make money in print”, while simultaneously acknowledging that the operation is not making money overall.
“I think we can be profitable, not this year, probably not next year, but there's a route to it,” Hughes stated.
Hughes and his fellow panelist Larry Kramer, president and publisher of the USA Today, praised traditional news brands as curators and as a source of conversation for the average person.
Hughes does not appear to be ready to give any solid answers regarding how he plans to make money from the New Republic. He does, however, seem happy to accept what Kara Swisher (host of the gathering) described as his “do-gooder” and “Lincoln-y” mission.
Hughes also addressed the role of social media for publishers like himself, stating that it brings in 25% of website traffic overall. He stated further that his former employer did not make it easy for him to spread his stories.
“Facebook has an interesting challenge when it comes to news feed products. They tend to reward images rather than links and the sort of journalism we do. It means we spend more time about Twitter.”
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