A little over a year ago I pointed readers toward a New Yorker article outlining the collapse of The New Republic magazine after its purchase by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

In my post, it’s just possible I suggested tech “genius” Chris Hughes’ real achievement wasn’t going to be the creation of a “vertically integrated digital media company,” but rather his stint as Mark Zuckerberg’s roommate.

Sadly, I may have been right.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hughes is now trying to sell the New Republic – but not before launching a thinly veiled jab at his staff (from the WSJ):

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook who purchased a majority stake in the struggling title in 2012, said in a staff memo Monday that he had underestimated “the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate,” and would seek to find a new owner.

It’s possible he “underestimated” the difficulty of the digital transition, but it’s just as likely he overestimated his ability to succeed in a fast-changing, competitive field which demands leadership instead of empty change jargon.

Nobody holds all the answers in journalism’s switch to digital, but alienating your staff of writers probably doesn’t represent the best start.

Keep writing, Tom Chandler.