From the get-go, The New Republic struggled to make a mark on Washington and Hughes struggled to generate ad revenue. By 2014, Hughes was thinking of ways to restructure the magazine for digital growth, even at the expense of its legacy. In September, he hired Vidra, the former general manager of Yahoo News, to serve as TNR’s first-ever chief executive.

Vidra’s vision for TNR was radically different than that of Foer and Wieseltier. In meetings with staff, he spoke of the magazine as though it were a Silicon Valley startup, sources said. He talked about “disruption” and said he wanted to “break shit.” He referred to himself as a “wartime CEO.” At one point, he proposed giving every employee shares in the company, suggesting that he had plans to make it public…

Both Foer and Wieseltier were aware of the changes taking place, even if Hughes and Vidra didn’t always tell them. Hughes, sources said, was terribly conflict averse. Foer found out that Gabriel Snyder had been tapped to replace him only after hearing that the Bloomberg Media editor was making attempts to hire people for TNR in New York. Foer then approached Hughes to ask if Snyder had indeed been hired to replace him, and Hughes came clean. Foer and Wieseltier then moved to resign.