For a small outfit, The New Republic has always gone long on drama. Its changes in leadership have usually arrived in the form of rolling coups or lightning bolts from above. So it is refreshing, if a bit underwhelming, to report that Franklin Foer, a senior editor with the magazine, is quietly taking over the shop next week from the current editor, Peter Beinart, who has a book to promote and ambitions of returning to longer form writing.
“I think this is the first bloodless transition in many years,” said Mr. Foer, who was in New York yesterday.
While there is no blood spattering its walls, the magazine that Mr. Foer, 31, takes over is hardly on a roll. The New Republic’s circulation has dropped by almost 40 percent in four years; it cut its circulation and staff salaries after aggressively spending on the Web in 2002. Meanwhile, its historical role as a maypole for middle-way Democrats is under challenge from countless Web sites and bloggers. And one of the magazine’s major preoccupations
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