I think I’m exactly the audience that TNR wants. I’m well-educated, make a good living, largely agree with them politically, enjoy long-form journalism, and am familiar with the brand and its history.
Yet I don’t think I would ever subscribe to TNR. I just see a magazine as something that’s going to pile up in my house. I can read more than enough great content online for free. If I was going to subscribe to a magazine, I think that The New Yorker is a lot more interesting than The New Republic.
Take note, journalistas. This is how your readers view your stuff — not as a “public trust”, “a voice”, or “a cause”, as TNR was described by the exiting editors in their resignation letter.
For better or worse, readers view your stuff as a product. And a product, to be bought, let alone used, needs to be useful.