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Staff Writer Remnick Picked to Lead New Yorker

July 14, 1998|BEVERLY BEYETTE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

David Remnick, 39, a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1992 and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction in 1994, was named Monday to succeed Tina Brown as editor of the magazine.

S.I. Newhouse Jr., chairman of Conde Nast Publications, which owns the New Yorker, called Remnick "a key contributor, whose work helped define the magazine. His standards of writing and reporting epitomize all the best qualities of the New Yorker's heritage."

Perri Dorset, the magazine's senior publicist, said that "there was thunderous applause" when Newhouse told the staff of his choice.

Dorset said Remnick and another staff writer, Kurt Andersen, were the two who'd been "in the basic rumor mill" to replace Brown, although others such as Graydon Carter, who succeeded Brown as editor of Vanity Fair in 1992, also had been mentioned as candidates.

Brown brought Remnick to the New Yorker from the Washington Post, where he had spent 10 years, the last four in the Moscow bureau. She said Monday that she is thrilled to have someone with his talent as her successor.

Remnick is married to New York Times reporter Esther B. Fein and has two children. A graduate of Princeton, he won his Pulitzer for "Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire" (Random House, 1993).

His fourth book, "King of the World," a study of Muhammad Ali against the social history of America in the '60s, is due in the fall. Subjects Remnick has profiled recently for the New Yorker include Katharine Graham, Pope John Paul II, Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson and George Stephanopoulos.

In a statement, Remnick called the New Yorker "a great invention, a weekly that combines beauty, wit, journalism and intellectual seriousness . . . it has a great future."

Brown, 44, announced last week that she was leaving the New Yorker after six years at the helm to join Miramax in a new media venture. She was widely credited by the New Yorker staff for revitalizing the weekly, which had been losing both money and readers.

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