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28-Year-Old Chris Hughes Buys 98-Year-Old 'New Republic'

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Chris Hughes, the 28-year-old Facebook co-founder and the founder of social action site Jumo, is moving from social networking to media with his acquisition of The New Republic. The magazine will “aggressively adapt to the newest technologies,” Hughes says in a letter to readers.

Hughes has purchased a majority stake in The New Republic, the NYT’s Media Decoder reports, and will become publisher and editor-in-chief of the magazine. Richard Just remains editor and Martin Peretz, former editor-in-chief, moves to the magazine’s advisory board.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed. The magazine is currently owned by Peretz and a group of investors, who bought it back from CanWest in 2009.

In a letter to TNR readers, Hughes writes:

Many of us get our news from social networks, blogs, and daily aggregators. The web has introduced a competitive, and some might argue hostile, landscape for long, in-depth, resource-intensive journalism. But as we’ve seen with the rise of tablets and mobile reading devices, it is an ever-shifting landscape-one that I believe now offers opportunities to reinvigorate the forms of journalism that examine the challenges of our time in all their complexity. Although the method of delivery of important ideas has undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated.

In the next era of The New Republic, we will aggressively adapt to the newest information technologies without sacrificing our commitment to serious journalism. We will look to tell the most important stories in politics and the arts and provide the type of rigorous analysis that The New Republic has been known for. We will ask pressing questions of our leaders, share groundbreaking new ideas, and shed new light on the state of politics and culture.

TNR has tried to make itself more relevant to the digital age, adding paywall tiers and a premium channel and four blogs in 2010. The magazine also released an iPad app last August.

Jumo, the social action site that Hughes founded after leaving Facebook, was merged into GOOD Magazine last year. Hughes will remain on GOOD’s board as an advisor.