The magazine had invested in expansion. Some of the new offerings were an enrichment. However, this did not result in the targeted growth. Above all, the expenses had grown, announced the Republic on Tuesday in a letter to its publishers as co-owners.
Therefore, the magazine will "vigorously reduce" its budget in the coming years. According to the information provided, the reduction of several staff positions and cuts in material costs will not be sufficient to achieve this. Republic had to part with eight employees.
Core business neglected
According to the report, the expansion plan failed because the magazine had not focused on its core business - journalism. The plan had been Republic in the spring of 2022, after the magazine had been in the black for two years. The target was 33,000 subscribers and members by summer 2023, about 5,000 more than at present.
CHF 8.6 million was budgeted for this. However, virtually no investment led to an increase in subscriptions. Instead, the number fell. Growth projects failed because they did not meet a reader need. An advertising campaign also fizzled out.
The Board of Directors and the Executive Board accept responsibility for the failed strategy and resign as a whole. On March 10, publicist and manager Roger de Weck already resigned with immediate effect.
The reason given by the magazine at the time was disputes over strategy, the importance of journalism and how to deal with the publication's crisis and the role of the board of directors. The 69-year-old had only taken over the job in November.
Chairman of the Board of Directors on board until a new appointment is made
Then followed Chairman of the Board Sylvie Reinhard and digital entrepreneur Alfonso von Wunschheim (Werbewoche.ch reported). Both will leave the Board of Directors when their successors have been determined. Reinhard sees it as the Republic according to their duty to take responsibility.
"Not many departing bosses - see Credit Suisse - do that," the letter says. Reinhard had been with the magazine since the beginning, serving as chairman of the board of directors and a member of the cooperative's executive board from 2018.
There were also operational Republic Change. Oliver Fuchs relinquished the editorship at the beginning of 2023. (Werbewoche.ch reported). He held the office on an interim basis. Managing Director Miriam Walther left in the fall of 2022.
The previous interim Co-Editor-in-Chief Bettina Hamilton-Irvine will now take over the function permanently. Feuilleton founder Daniel Binswanger will continue to assist her on an interim basis as Co-Editor-in-Chief. (Werbewoche.ch reported).
The Republic was launched on January 14, 2018, as an ad-free digital magazine for politics, business, society, and culture. At the launch, there were many advance praises and around seven million Swiss francs from patrons as well as potential readers.
The online medium was struggling to survive financially in 2020 and launched appeals for additional subscribers. It says it has over 28,000 members and subscribers and employs over 50 editors, technical staff and other employees.
Organized is the Republic on the one hand as a stock corporation, and on the other as a cooperative. The former is responsible for publishing the magazine, the latter for non-profit objectives such as training and a research budget. (SDA/swi)