Three weeks after moving into 529 9th St. in Chinatown, The New Republic officially celebrated its new office space on Friday.
“The convenience of the location played a big part,” Chief Operating Officer Sloan Eddleston told FishbowlDC. The office, which sits over the International Spy Museum, features a newsroom with some 30 computers, a library for reporters seeking a quiet respite and a spacious roof deck with a view of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (another selling point).
Eddleston said the space was renovated before the TNR crew could move in and that changes to the office were paid for by the owners of the building. He said TNR has signed a multi-year lease, but declined to say how many years.
Notably, most of the computers in the office are desktop PCs with only two or three Macs. Asked if any of the staffers gripe over who uses which computer, TNR Editor-in-Chief Franklin Foer said no. Actually, most of the computers go unused. “I think you find that most people have laptops,” Foer said, “and they’re working off Macs.”
Foer said it’s “very sweet to be in a place that is our home and will be our home for a long time.” Previously, TNR was taking up shelter in an office sublet by the American Grain Council.
The party featured two fully-stocked open bars and another bar where attendees could sample different liquors. WaPo‘s media reporter Erik Wemple was spotted taking a shot of something dark before heading out onto the deck. Catering included copious amounts of humus and cheese, veggie spreads and an assortment of chips.
Throughout the early evening, Chris Hughes, publisher of TNR, was seen… chatting with a steady stream of guests hoping to get in face time with the Facebook co-founder. The only time he broke away was for the arrival of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “Someone should make her wear a name tag,” remarked one party-goer upon Pelosi’s entrance to the office. Hughes and Pelosi posed in front of the original 1914 cover of TNR and then talked at length in the center of the newsroom while a couple of Pelosi’s body men watched on threateningly.
Side note: Daniel Abernathy, web developer for the National Republican Congressional Committee, remarked to FishbowlDC over Twitter that TNR‘s decision to invite Pelosi to its party seemed like a particularly Washington-insidery move, despite TNR publishing a piece the same day as the party lambasting Politico for being such a Washington-insidery publication.
The Washington Examiner Yeas and Nays co-columnist Alicia Cohn waited around to get an interview with Hughes. When she finally found an in to ask him a few questions, he told her he wasn’t doing any “on-the-record” talks.
Notables: Political activist Sandra Fluke; CQ Roll Call HOH columnists Neda Semnani and Warren Rojas; Bloomberg View‘s Josh Barro; Talking Points Memo‘s Benjy Sarlin and Igor Bobic; Politico’s Glenn Thrush, wearing his trademark fedora, and Dylan Byers; Slate‘s Dave Weigel; Matt Lauer (not that Matt Lauer– this Lauer is president of Qorvis Geopolitical Solutions); Ben Droz, an enthusiastic photographer snapping pictures for Washington Life; MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts; HuffPost media reporter Michael Calderone; BuzzFeed‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro; The Guardian‘s Jim Newell; NYT‘s David Carr and Christine Haughney; BrandlinkDC publicists Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman; and WCP‘s Will Sommer.
Quotable: “So, is this, like, for their office opening?”– Sandra Fluke, who seemed unsure what type of party she was attending. Fluke mostly hovered by the exit for the hour she stayed.
Calderone and Wemple
Byers and Weigel