International editor was on shortlist to replace editor-in-chief Jon Meacham
Ouch: Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria is leaving the magazine for rival Time.
Zakaria — the magazine's international editor and among the shortlist of candidates to replace outgoing editor-in-chief Jon Meacham — will become a contributing editor for Time and write a print column every other week, according to Media Decoder.
It's another wound for Newsweek, which is in the middle finalizing its firesale to Sidney Harman, the stereo equipment mogul. Meacham announced his intention to leave the same day the sale was announced; Evan Thomas, the high-profile contributor, followed suit.
Zakaria's exit also trims the shortlist even more. Walter Isaacson, the former editor of Time and friend of Harman's, recently said he's not interested in becoming Newsweek's next editor. That put Zakaria in the lead for media some observers.
As for Time, the poaching accomplishes two things: it gives Time more international news cred (“He is a kind of a spokesman for a post-American world," Time managing editor Richard Stengel told David Carr, "and we think he represents an important piece of the puzzle for us”) and leaves an Eli Manning-sized gash on Newsweek's fore-, err, masthead.
But it might not be a death blow. A source close to Newsweek said Zakaria was never interested in becoming a serious candidate for Meacham's seat, despite how it appeared on paper. Plus it aligns Zakaria's weekly CNN hosting duties ("Fareed Zakaria GPS") under the Time Warner corporate umbrella.
Besides, any mortal wound Newsweek has was probably self-inflicted long ago.
Time to update that shortlist.