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Forbes’ Longtime Editor Steps Aside

October 8, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ James Michaels, the editor of Forbes magazine for the past 37 years, is stepping aside to head its parent company’s expansion into television, books and other media.

Michaels, 77, will assume the title of vice president/editorial at the beginning of next year, Forbes Inc. said Wednesday.

Michaels will be replaced by William Baldwin, an 18-year Forbes veteran who has been managing editor since September 1997.

Michaels joined Forbes in 1954 and has been the business magazine’s editor since 1961, one of the longest tenures of any top magazine editor. ``After some 37 years of having the biweekly responsibility of getting this magazine out, I felt I was ready for a change,″ Michaels said.

``We think we have an editorial product here that can be launched on other platforms than the conventional black ink on white paper,″ he said.

Michaels’ accomplishments include creating the Forbes 400, the annual ranking of richest Americans that began in 1982 and has garnered enormous publicity for the magazine.

Forbes’ circulation is now more than 780,000, up from 325,000 when Michaels came aboard.

Prior to joining Forbes, Michaels served as bureau chief in New Dehli and Calcutta, India, for United Press, covering stories including the assassination of Mohandas Gandhi.

His successor, Baldwin, 47, has also served as Forbes’ executive editor and Houston bureau chief since joining the magazine as a reporter in Washington in 1980. He has focused in recent years on expanding the magazine’s coverage of high technology and mutual funds, Forbes Inc. said.

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