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

Boston magazine promotes acting editor

John Wolfson

John Wolfson, who’s worked as acting editor of Boston magazine since December, has been named editor. The announcement was made by chief executive officer Rick Waechter.

I rarely see Boston (the magazine, not the city) these days and do not know Wolfson, who is described as a “native New Englander” who “has covered some of the most influential leaders in the Boston area.” So let me get right to the press release:

BOSTON, MA — March  10, 2011 — Boston magazine Chief Executive Officer Rick Waechter today announced John Wolfson has been named Editor of the magazine.

Wolfson has been Acting Editor since December, managing daily magazine operations, working with other senior editors on a strategic plan and leading a re-launch of

“John Wolfson had the toughest type of interview ever imagined — one where he had to jump into the fray with no warning and being expected to perform at a top level — he did this while putting out transitional fires, strengthening our staff, managing a monthly magazine, weekly newsletters and daily digital products,” said Waechter. “In addition to seamlessly running the day to day operations, John has excited me with his plans for the future. Most importantly, John and I share the same vision for the magazine — Boston magazine needs to be a relevant, strong and trusted voice of authority … and we know we have to earn that right every day in all that we do.”

Before being named acting editor in December 2010, Wolfson was the magazine’s executive editor. A self-proclaimed news junkie since childhood, he has covered some of the most influential leaders in the Boston area. A native New Englander, he’s as caught up in the intrigue on Beacon Hill as the action at Fenway and the Garden.

“I’m honored by the opportunity to lead the talented and dedicated editorial staff of this great magazine,” Wolfson said. “These are fascinating times in Boston. We remain rooted in our history, of course, but more than ever before, we’re remaking ourselves in new and surprising ways.”

Wolfson said he wants the magazine to ask the big questions: “Where should we be going as a city? How will we get there? And who will lead us? Those are the kinds of questions we plan to ask, and answer, each month in Boston magazine,” he said. Wolfson first joined Boston as a writer and editor in 2004. He briefly left the magazine in 2008 to become editor of the startup website, then rejoined the Boston team in 2010. Previously, Wolfson worked as a reporter for the Seattle Times, Orlando Sentinel, and Lowell Sun. His writing has appeared in theNew York Times, Wired, Legal Affairs, Middlebury, Consumers Digest, and other publications.

Waechter said it was a priority for him to hire a leader with strong ties to the Greater Boston community with a passion for exploring all aspects of city life including the great communities that surround it.

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  1. John F.J. Sullivan

    I had the pleasure of taking John Wolfson on as a stringer at the now-long-defunct Dover (N.H.) Times and knew well over a decade ago that he would accomplish great things. His combination of grit, tenacity and elegant writing augurs great things for Boston Magazine.

  2. Mike Benedict

    @John F.J.: It’s great that Wolfson has “grit, tenacity and elegant writing,” because those are three things that haven’t been associated with Boston Magazine in years.

    On the other hand, one *could* describe the magazine during that period as “predictable, clueless, and full of pretense.” Instead of calling it “Boston,” they should rename it “Wellesley,” since that seems to be its focal point. I could recite in my sleep what will be on the cover and when each year: best doctors, best restaurants, best new restaurants, best places to ski, best places to summer, best school systems, blah blah blah. The editors and writers break no new ground; instead, they repackage and re-sell the well-worn paths. The addition of Eileen MacNamara was a plus, but even at $10 a year, it’s no longer worth the subscription.

  3. @Mike: Agreed. I haven’t seen it in years and stopped buying it ages ago.

  4. He has solid credentials, but the “big questions” to Boston Magazine have always been: “Where do I get the best ice cream cone in the city? “Who’s the Hub’s top plastic surgeon? and “How come Boston has lousy Mexican restaurants?”

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