They should have the place termited

It was announced today that The New Republic, the magazine that has lost the will to live, was sold:

The Canadian media giant CanWest has taken a majority stake in the 92-year-old New Republic, and plans to relaunch the weekly as a thicker, glossier – and half as frequent – magazine with a more robust Web site.

The new ownership and redesign completes a period of change at the magazine, which shifted markedly to the political left under its new editor, Franklin Foer, and has sought to shake off its association with the Bush administration’s pursuit of the Iraq war. CanWest, which publishes a dozen Canadian daily newspapers and owns other media properties around the world, is controlled by the family of CEO Leonard Asper.

“I’m hoping the new magazine will look and feel a lot more like a magazine,” Foer said, adding that its goal is “to be the New Yorker of politics and to exude that sense of quality in literary terms, and also in reported terms.’

Sounds good. A little paint, fix that saggy front porch…. oh-oh. Buyers remorse time:

New York money managers Roger Hertog and Michael Steinhardt bought their stake in the New Republic from Martin Peretz, who remains editor-in-chief. (Peretz referred a call on the latest ownership change to Foer.) CanWest bought a minority stake in the company in 2006.

I can’t quite understand why Peretz didn’t leave and just go over to The National Review where he would fit in seamlessly. Hell, he wouldn’t even have to change the embroidered initials on his Bush bib.

Having said that, I think something that happened today is instructive as to why the New Republic needs restructuring. This afternoon I finally broke down and bought a membership to Salon Premium because they now have Glenn Greenwald who I consider must reading, and I was tired of sitting through those tedious ads to get to read something for free. As some of you may know, Salon is my ancestral internets home having started my snark career there in TableTalk (along with a few other bloggers still on the scene). Anyway, I was looking for something in Salon today and decided to just buy the membership and just get on with it. As part of the premium package they offer free subscriptions to various magazine (I believe there were six). I elected to take The New York Review of Books, Reason, and Wired. The other two didn’t interest me, and the third made me laugh: The New Republic.

Even though it was free, I had no use for it.

And it was free. CanWest…you have a problem.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....