New digital post
Mr. Meacham takes over for Mark Whitaker, who was promoted out of the post he held for nearly eight years to become VP-editor in chief of new ventures at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, a newly created position at The Washington Post Co.'s digital division.
"In Jon we are fortunate to have perhaps the best and brightest young editor in the business," Richard M. Smith, Newsweek chairman and editor in chief, said in a statement confirming changes first reported last week. "His uncanny judgment, lively intelligence and steadfast commitment to quality in print and on the web will lead Newsweek into a bright future."
Mr. Meacham has been managing editor since November 1998 and has written cover stories on politics, religion, guns, race and the death of Ronald Reagan. His most recent book is "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation." He joined Newsweek in 1995.
Heaving media landscape
The heaving media landscape has left Time and Newsweek in the same old competitive embrace but has complicated the mission of each by rendering news and even analysis a cheap, ubiquitous commodity.
Newsweek's ad pages from January through July clocked in 1.8% higher than the total during the equivalent period last year, but fell 11% in 2005 from 2004, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. Total paid circulation was slightly off in the first half of the year, down 1.8% from first-half 2005, according to its report to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Its newsstand sales, a small but closely watched circulation source, fell 12.5% in the same period.
Newsweek won four National Magazine Awards during Mr. Whitaker's time at the helm and was nominated in the general-excellence category in 2006. He has been with Newsweek in various capacities for two decades.