New Prospects  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   December 2002

New Prospects   

Benjamin Taylor, former publisher of the Boston Globe, takes the helm of The American Prospect.

By Sarah Schaffer
Sarah Schaffer is a former AJR editorial assistant.     


Former Boston Globe Publisher Benjamin Taylor gets back in the game as executive editor of the liberal, Washington, D.C.-based political magazine The American Prospect.

He replaces Harold Meyerson, who was recently named the magazine's editor at large.

"It feels great to be back and involved" in journalism, says Taylor, 55, who covered Washington for the Globe in the early 1980s. The New York Times Co., which purchased the Globe from Taylor's family in 1993, replaced him as publisher in 1999, ending a dynasty that lasted more than 120 years.

Since then, Taylor says, he has been doing "charitable stuff," serving on the boards of various nonprofit organizations. He has also invested time and money in a monthly newspaper, Women's Business New York.

Earlier this year, he joined the Prospect's board of directors, helping to formulate the magazine's new editorial strategy and redesign, set to premiere in February. The enthusiasm and experience Taylor brought to the task led Robert Kuttner, the magazine's cofounder and coeditor, to realize he would be a good fit for the top editorial job.

The decision to hire Taylor "just kind of bubbled up..it was a natural thing," says Kuttner, who notes Taylor's reputation as a skilled writer and editor with a warm managerial style.

Taylor, who will split his time between Boston and Washington, says he is excited about his new post. "I think it's going to be terrific," he says. "We've got a lot of talent here."

He describes the Prospect's place among political magazines as "somewhere between The Nation and The New Republic." "I think there's room for a constructive, progressive, liberal magazine that's rooted in sound journalism," Taylor says.

Currently a biweekly, the Prospect, which launched in 1990, will begin publishing 10 regular issues per year plus four special issues. And the new incarnation will include more features. "We're going to pump up the Web site and do the more immediate stuff on the Web," Kuttner says.

"The staff are just thrilled" at Taylor's appointment, Kuttner says. "He is just a world-class guy..and he's a terrific coach."

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