In the wake of yesterday’s news that longtime Forbes editor Bill Baldwin will step down from his top-of-the-masthead role on Sept. 1 to become a columnist and features writer for the magazine, the question of who will replace him lingers.
A Forbes spokesperson, who did not return our calls and emails, told paidContent that management will “be looking inside and outside the company to find the most talented person to move into the Editor’s role.” (Technically speaking, Steve Forbes is “editor in chief.”)
We’re hearing the word among insiders is that Tom Post is the most likely internal candidate.
Post, who was one of two staffers promoted to a managing editor title in October 2008, has been with the magazine for roughly 13 years. Prior to Forbes he was at ABC News.
UPDATE – A tipster tells us that Post worked for D’Vorkin (see below) in 1990 at the short-lived Business Month magazine, which was published by the Goldhirsh Group.
But whoever gets the job, it seems safe to assume that he (or she!) will cede much of his influence to Lewis D’Vorkin, Forbes’ newly-installed chief product officer overseeing “all editorial areas,” who came on board in late May as part of a deal the company struck to acquire his freelance blogging startup, True/Slant.
D’Vorkin’s tenure so far has been met with scepticism from staffers trying to adjust to some of his arguably controversial ideas about journalism and entrepreneurship, like the notion of assembling an army of freelancers to churn out content for the magazine and website.
There have also been rumours that D’Vorkin is planning layoffs. If true, it would be the third round of staff cuts to rock the magazine, whose second quarter ad revenue fell 1.7% (its ad pages dropped 30% in 2009), in the past year.
Ironically, D’Vorkin, a former AOL executive, worked at Forbes in the 90s under Baldwin; upon his recent return, however, he suddenly became Baldwin’s boss.
It’s plausible, then, that Baldwin didn’t want to be in the passenger seat for whatever ride D’Vorkin is planning to take the magazine on, though he was diplomatic in his memo to staff: “I have high expectations for the new face Lew will put on both the magazine and the Web site.” (Baldwin did not return several emails seeking comment.)
Baldwin’s resignation as editor follows the June 14 resignation of another high-ranking editorial staffer, Paul Maidment, who was editor of Forbes.com and executive editor of the magazine.
Reached at the time, Maidment declined to tell us what his next career move would be. But we hear from a well-placed source that he’s in talks with Bloomberg News.
Maidment also did not return an email seeking comment.
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