Can you describe what it means to be a successful editor-in-chief?
think the most important thing is to have a vision for the magazine or
newspaper. What is the distinctive feature of your newspaper, what do you
provide that nobody else provides, and making sure that you provide that every
day on every page….” —
From an interview with Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International,
published earlier this month in the Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat.
It as on this day (July 29) in 1913 that Joseph Thorndike, who grew up to become a managing editor of Life magazine and later editorial director and editor, respectively, of the hardcover magazines American Heritage and Horizon, was born in Peabody, Massachusetts. He died in 2005 at age 92.
On this day (July 26) in 1956, The American Magazine announced that it would cease publication after 80 years, with its August issue. It had been founded in 1876 as Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly and went through several wildly different editorial incarnations in the decades that followed, including muckraking in the early 20th century and cheerleading for big business in the years leading up to the Great Depression. At the end it was more of a general-interest title, still with reported circulation of 2-plus million, but apparently not enough.
"The secret of success of any magazine lies in its individuality. People come to recognize it as different from the others and they do not feel that any other magazine will take its place." — Common-Sense Magazine, 1908
July 23 seems to be a good day to be born if you want to grow up to be a famous magazine editor. Among those born on this day: Ruth Whitney, the highly respected editor of Glamour magazine for an astonishing 31 years (in 1928), Albert Shaw of Review of Reviews (in 1857) and Ben Hibbs of The Saturday Evening Post (in 1901).
"This, I think, is the sovereign secret of successful editing: the arbitrary attitude. No boards, no committees, no surveys, no IBM machines can replace it." -- Ken Purdy, onetime editor of True magazine, quoted by Theodore Peterson in his book "Magazines of the Twentieth Century," 1964.