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Random Couldn’t Lure ‘Newsweek’ Ed.

House needs identity.

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Jon Meacham  

The hunt for Random House Publishing Group’s top editor ultimately fell short. Executive editor Daniel Menaker leaves this month, and his boss, president and publisher Gina Centrello, approached Newsweek editor Jon Meacham with the job, but he wasn’t biting. “They’ll have to blow me out of here,” Meacham says of Newsweek. “This is home.” (He’s also a writer for the imprint, which published his American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation.) Another alleged choice for top editor was Sarah Crichton, although she wouldn’t confirm (or deny) it. Instead, Centrello anointed Meacham’s editor, Kate Medina, and Jennifer Hershey, now a senior vice-president. The new arrangement has some veterans scratching their heads. “Complicated structures make for complicated work situations,” says one industry insider. “When you think of Knopf, you think of Sonny Mehta. When you think of FSG, you think Jonathan Galassi. When you think of Random House, now what do you think? What do they want you to think? I don’t know the answer to that.”

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