Jim Kelly Moves to 34th Floor at Time Inc.

New Corporate Post Will Focus on Ethics and Recruitment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Jim Kelly was promoted out of his job as managing editor at Time magazine today and named managing editor at Time Inc. by company Editor in Chief John Huey. His successor is expected to be named later this week.
Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly

Big news events
Mr. Kelly, Time magazine's 15th managing editor and a well-liked figure within the industry, had held the post since January 2001, and during his tenure he directed the title through some of the biggest news events to occur in recent memory, including, of course, Sept. 11, 2001

Time's issue covering the terrorist attacks of that day included a 28-page photo package and went back to press three times for a print run of 8 million copies.

The company said Mr. Kelly, 52, will work on a variety of areas, concentrating on standards, practices and ethics. He will also work with Mr. Huey on policymaking, vetting controversial stories and recruiting outside talent.

"In his five and a half years as managing editor of Time, he has demonstrated flawless judgment, a fierce intellect and a deep knowledge of how journalism works," Mr. Huey said in a statement. "I believe Time Inc. needs someone of his stature and expertise working closely with me and Executive Editors Scott Mowbray and Sheryl Tucker."

Award winner
Just last week, Time magazine collected two national magazine awards, one in the single-issue category for an issue devoted to Hurricane Katrina and the other for general excellence among magazines with circulations above 2 million. In an emotional speech, Mr. Kelly thanked seemingly everyone who has contributed to Time's success, including reporter Matt Cooper, who spent much of the past year explaining to government prosecutors his involvement in Plamegate, and Eileen Naughton, who was president of the Time group until she was laid off during staff cuts at Time Inc. last December. In announcing the winner for general excellence, Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker called the magazine "Jim Kelly's Time."

But his time at the helm has not always been smooth, as Mr. Cooper reminds us. Mr. Kelly endured plenty of criticism for his role in the decision to turn over Mr. Cooper's notes to special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who is investigating the leak in the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.

And the standing of newsweeklies has cooled with the rise of the continuous news cycle, alternative news outlets online and opinionated reporting that eschews the objective approach favored by Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.

Falling financial numbers
Time reported average paid circulation of 4 million for the last half of 2005, down from a 4.1 million average during the 12 months that ended June 30, 2003.

Ad pages in Time fell 12.2% last year and dropped 4.6% during the first quarter of 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, though its May 8 issue profiling the "Time 100" posted the most ad revenue and ad pages of any issue since the title named Albert Einstein the Person of the Century in 1999.

Previous managing editors at Time have served anywhere from a couple years to nearly a decade in the post. Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Walter Isaacson, held the job for four years.

Mr. Kelly joined Time back in 1978, writing the "Milestones" section. He was later named foreign editor during the first Gulf War, and then became deputy managing editor in 1996.
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