Mr. Leo first learned that brass was abandoning his column about six weeks ago, when he received a call from Brian Duffy, editor. âThey called up and said weâve come to a parting of the ways,â he said this morning. âI wasnât really told why. I assume it was financial but they didnât say.â
A U.S. News spokeswoman, reached this morning, was unable to provide comment by deadline.
Despite the lack of a personal explanation, even from longtime friend Mr. Zuckerman, Mr. Leo sounded content. âIâve never been confused about who owns the property,â he said. âJust because Iâve been here 17 years doesnât mean I deserve 20.â
His debut on the Web site, a blog-like feature, arrives tomorrow, Nov. 30. But he may not linger too long.
âThey asked me if I wanted to keep the office and for a certain sum, blog on their Web site,â he said. âI would hesitate to call it a real salary.â Asked about his plans, Mr. Leo said he was not sure. âI have to see whatâs going on and whatâs around.â
Before joining U.S. News, Mr. Leo had been an editor and writer at Time Inc.âs Time and a reporter for The New York Times. His books include âTwo Steps Ahead of the Thought Policeâ and the humorous âHow the Russians Invented Baseball and Other Essays of Enlightenment.â
His last column in the magazine appeared in this weekâs issue, which came out Monday.