Chris Hughes finds a buyer for The New Republic: Portland publisher Win McCormack
McCormack is publisher and editor-in-chief of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books; Hamilton Fish, currently publisher at The Washington Spectator, will become the TNR’s new publisher
The New Republic has a new owner, Win McCormack. The sale was announced, as these are done these days, on Twitter when Noah McCormack, son of the new owner, tweeted that his father had bought the magazine.
McCormack is the founder of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books and the former publisher of Oregon Magazine. McCormack will appoint Hamilton Fish to be publisher and editorial director, the magazine said. Fish, 63, is currently the publisher of the political periodical, The Washington Spectator, and is known for his time at The Nation.
News personal and media: The New Republic is now in McCormack ownership, led by my father Win, longtime publisher and EIC of Tin House.
— Noah McCormack (@noahmccormack) February 26, 2016
Noah McCormack said via Twitter that he will be moving to New York to work under Fish, while still “supporting and working with” The Baffler magazine, where he has been publisher.
“The New Republic was founded in 1914 as the organ of a modernized liberalism and then-dominant Progressive Movement, and has remained true to its founding principles, under all its multiple owners, ever since,” McCormack said in the sale announcement. “We intend to continue in that same tradition, preserving 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.”
“When I announced my intention to sell The New Republic last month, my goal was to find the right steward to ensure that TNR continues to be impactful and relevant,” Hughes said of the sale.
“I had many conversations with qualified candidates, and of those I ultimately concluded that Win McCormack and Ham Fish are those stewards. Their backgrounds in journalism and progressive politics make them uniquely qualified to lead such a historic institution. I look forward to watching their progress over the years to come.”
Fish will bring liberal bonafides to the job, as well as experience keeping alive reader supported, non-profit publications, which one might guess will be the direction TNR goes. Fish is an incredibly interesting person (if you are not familiar with him): in addition to his work at The Nation, he is the producer of five documentary films including the Academy Award-winning documentary by Marcel Ophuls, Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (Ophuls is probably best known for his film The Sorrow and the Pity). Both Fish’s father and grandfather were Republicans elected to the House of Representatives for New York districts. Fish ran for Congress himself, with his 100 year old grandfather accusing his grandson of being a communist, but lost in the primary to Nita Lowey who is still in the House representing New York’s 17th district.
McCormack is heavily involved in life in Oregon, serving on the Oregon Council for the Humanities and the Oregon Tourism Commission, and serving as chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon’s President’s Council, making it highly unlikely that he would want to manage the business in NYC.
McCormack wrote the 2008 book You Don’t Know Me, A Citizen’s Guide to Republican Family Values about sex scandals involving Republican politicians who, nonetheless, espouse family values.