Ex-Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham Writes Cover Story for Time

Recruited by former rival Richard Stengel for piece on faith and religion

Last Updated: April 14, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

Jon Meacham, the former editor of Newsweek and current editor at Random House, is about to get an unusual byline — on the cover of his ex-rival, Time magazine.

Meacham penned the upcoming, April 25th cover story — “Is Hell Dead?” — for Time editor Richard Stengel, who called Meacham “one of America’s foremost thinkers on the role of religion in public life.”

Stengel noted that Time ran a similar, enormously controversial cover story 45 years ago — “Is God Dead?” — and that “Jon sees a through line between the two stories, noting that what we wrote in 1966 about Christian thinkers — ‘they seek to imagine and define a God who can touch men’s emotions and engage men’s minds’ — is a perfect description of [Evangelical minister Rob] Bell,” who is profiled in Meacham’s piece.

Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, stepped down from Newsweek post in 2010 when the Washington Post sold the magazine to Sidney Harman, who eventually merged the magazine with the Daily Beast and installed Tina Brown as its editor. (Harman died Tuesday at 92.) Meacham told Adweek that while he has no current plans to write for Time, “[I] am very open to it.”

If you’re wondering why Meacham would agree to write something for Time rather than Newsweek — perhaps it’s the size of the platform.

Time's average total paid circulation was 3,314,946 copies per issue during the second half of 2010, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Newsweek's was 1,546,750.


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