Despite part-owner Martin Peretz recently saying his opinion magazine is not for sale, a reported suitor of The New Republic is very intriguing: Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. You probably don't recognize Hughes from his role at the social network where he first held the job title "Empath", but as Mark Zuckerberg's roommate at Harvard, he played a large role in building Facebook during the early years. Hughes also has an interesting career that straddles the line between politics and media. Most recently, Hughes built Jumo, a cause-oriented social network that's now a part of the GOOD magazine family. Before Jumo, Fast Company gave Hughes credit for helping to get the president elected as the mastermind of then-candidate Barack Obama's social media efforts. Even way back in his college years, Hughes played a leadership role at Current, Newsweek's the now defunct college magazine run by Harvard students.
First reported by The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone, the idea that Hughes might be interested in buying the Beltway-oriented title makes a lot of sense. However, in light of Peretz's denial that TNR is on the block and Calderone's own piece that almost all of the other potential buyers named in various reports suggests that something's not quite right in the initial reports that TNR had hired consultants to help them find a buy. Either way, Hughes can afford it; he's worth an estimated $700 million, while TNR's estimated price tag is only about $20 million. We've reached out to Hughes to confirm his interest and will update you when we hear back.