Thursday, October 31, 2002

Taylor made for the Prospect. The American Prospect today announced a huge move at the top of its always-tumultuous masthead. Former Boston Globe publisher Benjamin Taylor will become the new executive editor, replacing Harold Meyerson, who had moved over to an editor-at-large slot sometime earlier. (Actually, yet another person briefly occupied the executive editor's chair between Meyerson and Taylor, but that's hardly worth a mention.) The official announcement from Prospect publisher Robin Hutson:

The American Prospect has named Benjamin B. Taylor its new Executive Editor. Mr. Taylor was previously Executive Editor (and subsequently Publisher) of the Boston Globe. Ben's 17-year reporting career at the Globe included stints as a political reporter, metro editor, and four years in the Globe's Washington bureau where he covered Congress and the White House. He served as Publisher of the Globe between 1997 and 2000 [actually 1999].

Taylor, an affable but guarded old-fashioned Yankee, lost his hereditary title at the Globe when he was summarily dismissed by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the chairman of the New York Times Company, to which the Taylors had sold their heirloom some six years earlier for the then-unheard-of price of $1.1 billion. Taylor's role at the Prospect -- a liberal biweekly whose ideological niche lies at the midpoint between the neoliberal New Republic and the left-liberal Nation -- will no doubt be to serve as the designated adult, an approachable uncle who'll keep the staff's contact with crotchety co-editor Robert Kuttner to a minimum.

Meyerson himself is a former executive editor of the alternative LA Weekly who was named executive editor in 2001 in a bid to boost the Prospect's Washington presence.

The Prospect's most important financial backer, Bill Moyers, has reportedly been seeking to cut his losses in recent months, according to Slate's Mickey Kaus. (Click here and check out the item for Monday, May 13.) Moyers will like the gentlemanly Taylor -- no small consideration given that Moyers has apparently considered cutting funding to the point where the Prospect would have to dial back on its publication schedule.

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