Rolling Stone’s Top Editor Steps Down

Noah Shachtman, the top editor of Rolling Stone, is stepping down at the end of the month after a stint of more than two years at the helm of the pop culture bible.

In a brief note to employees that was seen by The New York Times, Mr. Shachtman said his last day running the magazine would be March 1, but he did not elaborate on the reasons for his exit.

His resignation was prompted by editorial differences with Gus Wenner, Rolling Stone’s chief executive, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.

“It’s the right decision, one Gus Wenner and I made after many discussions about the direction of the brand,” Mr. Shachtman said in the letter.

Mr. Wenner told employees in a separate note that Mr. Shachtman would be replaced in the interim by Sean Woods, the magazine’s deputy editor, and Lisa Tozzi, its digital director. The magazine will begin a search for a new top editor in the coming weeks, he said. Mr. Shachtman will continue as a contributing writer for the magazine.

“I want to thank him for all the work, passion and dedication he’s put into our publication over the last few years,” Mr. Wenner wrote.

The former top editor of The Daily Beast, Mr. Shachtman imported the news website’s hard-nosed, investigative sensibility to Rolling Stone. During his tenure, the magazine published investigations into prominent musicians and actors, including Jonathan Majors and Marilyn Manson. The publication also won a National Magazine Award for digital design and was nominated for its first Emmy Award in interactive media under his leadership.

Over the past several years, Rolling Stone has focused on expanding beyond its roots as a traditional magazine, emphasizing ventures that include events, licensing, online commerce, films, TV and podcasts.

Rolling Stone was plunged into crisis last year when Jann Wenner, one of the magazine’s founders, made comments in an interview with The Times that were widely considered racist and sexist. Jann Wenner, who is Gus Wenner’s father, left the publication in 2019, but he was still influential in the world of music as a board member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, which he also helped found. After his comments were published, he was ousted from the foundation and condemned by the Black Rock Coalition, a conflagration that Mr. Shachtman had pushed Rolling Stone to cover.


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