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Inside Move: Wired eyes successors as Heron unplugs

Mag had strong 2000, but not immune to ad slump

NEW YORK — Wired magazine editor-in-chief Katrina Heron announced her resignation Monday.

Her decision to ankle the magazine comes as a disappointment to Conde Nast, which maintained a partial investment in Wired in the early 1990s before buying it outright in 1998.

The magazine had a strong year in 2000 but has not been immune to the recent digital economy ad slump. Ad revenues for the first two months of 2001 were down 6.6% over last year, from 8.2 million to 7.6 million, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures.

Even so, Heron is a popular figure at Conde Nast. She worked at the company as an editor at Vanity Fair and then the New Yorker before coming to Wired.

Her reasons for leaving are said to be personal. “I plan to spend some time with my family before exploring new challenges,” she said.

Conde Nast spokesperson Maurie Perl said of Heron, “Although we are sad, she took Wired to a new zenith and will be leaving it in very good shape for the next editor.”

Perl would not comment on rumors about Heron’s successor, but it is understood that Powerful Media co-founder Kurt Anderson has talked to Conde Nast editorial director James Truman about the job.

Another possible candidate, Josh Quittner, managing editor of Time Inc.’s On magazine, said he was surprised to hear of Heron’s departure but had not been contacted regarding the post. Other sources speculated that Wired might promote a candidate from within its own ranks.

Heron’s last issue will be June’s, and she is expected to stay at the magazine until that month to facilitate the succession.

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