By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

At least he can live in Washington

New York Times staff reporter James Bennet has almost no editing experience, but he’s the new editor of The Atlantic Monthly. That’s a title former managing editor Cullen Murphy earned many times over but never received. Bennet is the perfect choice for what is now, officially, just another Washington magazine.

By the way, Bennet might be great. But given the magazine’s award-winning track record going back to the early 1980s under editors Murphy, the late Michael Kelly and William Whitworth, it’s telling that owner David Bradley was unable or unwilling to hire someone with a higher profile in the magazine world.


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8 Comments

  1. Wes

    Exist, bubbe. Living in Washington is not done.

  2. Mark

    Thanks for reminding me. I need to cancel my subscription.

  3. Anonymous

    No editing experience? What exactly do you think the Times’s Jerusalem bureau chief does???

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Anon 10:55 — Please take it up with the Times, which reported of its employee, “A graduate of Yale, Mr. Bennet held an editing post at The Washington Monthly from 1989 to 1991 but has otherwise devoted his career to writing.”

  5. Mark

    Cullen’s best work was when he wrote Prince Valiant.

  6. Anonymous

    Dan, are you close to Cullen Murphy ? It sounds like you really are disappointed for him.N.

  7. MeTheSheeple

    I may be wrong here, but I seem to recall that David Remnick had a paucity of editing experience when he made it to The New Yorker, and few people seem to be clammoring for Tina Brown to return.It’s likely, too, that the Atlantic Monthly owner valued other editor attributes more than a high profile. I doubt profile ranked above newsroom fit, management style, management experience, editing style, editing experience, …

  8. Dan Kennedy

    Sheeple — You are half right. Maybe three-quarters right. Remnick had been a staff writer at the New Yorker for quite a while before being named to replace Tina Brown. No editing experience, but tons of New Yorker experience. It was the most reassuring hire Newhouse possibly could have made.

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