The Aspen Institute president, former Time magazine editor and "close friend" of new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman told the Aspen Daily News that he isn't interested in the job.
"I've already edited a news magazine," Isaacson said.
More quotes from Isaacson:
I think Sidney is doing it for the right reasons. It is probably not the best return on investment you could get if you wanted to put your money somewhere, but it is the best psychic and civic investment you could get, which is saving one of the world’s best magazines.
Sidney is a perfect fit. He's civic minded, cares about world affairs and is not looking to make a quick buck. He's got polymath sensibilities. He is interested in almost everything.
While I named Isaacson the odds-on favorite to get an offer, I did have my doubts. After all, Isaacson sounded less than bullish on the magazine business last year. "I read magazine content online," he said during a panel at the Magazine Innovation Summit in 2009. "I don’t feel the need to subscribe to them."
With Isaacson out, that makes Newsweek international editor Fareed Zakaria the current leader in the clubhouse to succeed Jon Meacham.