Tunku Varadarajan is leaving ‘Newsweek’

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Tunku Varadarajan. ()
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Tunku Varadarajan, promoted at the end of last year to his spot as top editor of Newsweek Global, is leaving the company, Capital has learned.

The top editor of the all-digital brand that survived after Tina Brown's Newsweek-Daily Beast company shuttered Newsweek's print edition will leave a month from now, according to a company memo obtained by Capital.

"He wants to write a book; to spend time in India (a country he left when he was 16, and which he wants to get to know again); to travel with his wife and terrific young son (who is 13); and to teach at university (which, with journalism, has been his competing passion all along)," Brown wrote in a memo to staff.

Taking his place as of April 19 will be Brown's long-time Beast-lieutenant Justine Rosenthal.

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Chatter inside the company late last year, when the shuttering of Newsweek forced Brown to give title promotions to prominent editors of the flagship title, had it that Rosenthal had lobbied for the gig Varadarajan got.

The British citizen and long-time Brooklynite began working with Brown as a contributing columnist at the Daily Beast after spending time as an assistant managing editor at The Wall Street Journal and as New York bureau chief of The Times of London. Varadarajan also holds positions at the journalism programs at Stanford University and the City University of New York.

Here's the full memo from Brown to staff:

 

From: Tina Brown

 

It is with sadness that I announce that Tunku Varadarajan, our editor ofNewsweek, is leaving us in a month's time. Tunku wishes to move on to a new phase in his life. He wants to write a book; to spend time in India (a country he left when he was 16, and which he wants to get to know again); to travel with his wife and terrific young son (who is 13); and to teach at university (which, with journalism, has been his competing passion all along). We can all agree that he has done a stellar job as editor of the all-digital Newsweek, bringing the magazine so smartly into its new, exciting lease-of-life phase with his counterintuitive ideas, terrific cadre of writers week-after-week and the editorial collegiality that has made him such a pleasure to work with.

Tunku will leave his post with the re-launch of the updated digital Newsweek Global, on which Justine Rosenthal has been working to bring to fruition. It is an entirely natural and seamless succession, therefore, that she take over from Tunku on April 19th. I have known Tunku for almost 20 years, and he will continue to be a part of our plans going forward, contributing pieces (when the spirit moves him!) to both Newsweek Global and The Daily Beast. He will continue to live in New York, and while we shall miss him greatly, we hope to continue to see a lot of him in this small town of ours. Please join me in wishing Tunku every success in his next chapter and I hope you will join me for a farewell toast when the time comes.

TB