Nancy Gibbs succeeds Rick Stengel as ‘Time’ managing editor, officially

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Nancy Gibbs, Richard Stengel. (Photos via Time Inc.)
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Time has made official the news we first reported last week: Nancy Gibbs is the magazine's next managing editor, making her the 17th person and first woman to hold the top masthead position at the 90-year-old title.

She succeeds Rick Stengel, who had been managing editor for the past seven years until July, when he removed himself from day-to-day operations to assist with matters related to the upcoming spinoff of Time's parent company, Timc Inc., from the Time Warner corporation.

Capital broke the news last week in a joint report with our sister title, POLITICO, that Stengel was planning to leave Time for a public outreach and diplomacy postition with the U.S. state department and that Gibbs was expected to succeed him. After the first version of this article was published, the White House officially announced Stengel's nomination.

"I cannot think of a more perfect person than Nancy Gibbs to lead Time," said Time Inc. editor-in-chief Martha Nelson in a statement. "Readers know her as an award-winning writer and best-selling author whose singular storytelling abilities bring her subjects vividly to life. They will now see the products of her exceptional editorial leadership, particularly on the digital front."

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Gibbs, a 53-year-old New York City native, has already gotten her feet wet, running Time since Stengel stepped back in July.

"Time has a trusted role in the world, and I am honored to be the one to bring that legacy into the future," Gibbs said in a statement. "Our journalism has never been stronger, our audience has never been bigger, and just about every day technology is giving us new tools with which to tell great stories. I could not be more proud to take over at this exciting and challenging time, especially as we prepare for our relaunch of time.com this fall."

Gibbs was hired as a fact-checker at the magazine in 1985, just four years after Stengel first arrived. She is one of the most prolific writers at the magazine and is perhaps best known for a 10,000-word 9/11 feature that helped Time win a National Magazine Award in 2002. She was promoted to deputy managing editor in 2011.

As for Stengel, Time's official announcement praised him for presiding over a newsroom that has won numerous awards, including the top honor at the 2012 National Magazine Awards. His tenure as managing editor was the longest since the 1980s.

"Stengel revived and rejuvenated Time and made it part of the national conversation even as the magazine’s longtime traditional competitors were falling away," a news release states.