It’s been more than eight months since Gabriel Snyder penned a note to readers upon ascending to the editorship of the New Republic amid one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of the century-old magazine.
His predecessor, Franklin Foer, resigned upon learning that owner Chris Hughes had already selected a replacement editor to work with CEO Guy Vidra to refashion the magazine into a digital media company. The bulk of the staff, including most of the masthead, followed Foer out the door. Each headline about the drama was more apocalyptic than the last (“The incredible imploding New Republic,” read one), and they became so plentiful that the Awl devoted a listicle to ranking 40 of them.
But in his note, Snyder sought to put the sudden and tempestuous changes into context by invoking the magazine’s long history of reinvention. By upending the status quo, Snyder explained, the magazine was really hearkening back to its best traditions.