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at Life. Do you recall, with Thorndike becoming managing editor,
Thompson as his assistant, Longwell was named something, T was
made chairman of the board of editors and apparently a new structure
was set up whereby instead of many departments, four divisions were
formed, the news, the culture, the modern living, and all others,
which would produce stories from beginning to end and then send them
to the editor. Do you recall--and then, of course, in 1946 you were
named publisher, I think, and there was an effort in 1946 to, quote
unquote, redefine Life editorially. What happened?
Well, those are separate questions. The structural one was
something that I think Thorndike dreamed up. Thorndike was made
managing editor, Dan Longwell having said that he was tired and
didn't want to be involved in the day-to-day operation and staying in
late at night and so on. Thorndike was a rather cool, reserved, New
Englandish type who was well organized and I think that was his idea
of structure, because he was a considerable delegator and he tried to
arrange things very rationally and that structure, I believe was
mainly his. I think it was dismantled by Thompson afterwards.
According to Elson, that's why I'm asking you if you remember, to
say whether it was right or wrong, in fact that structure was imposed
upon him by Luce because Luce never really had all that much faith in
Thorndike. Does that ring a bell or make sense?
No, that doesn't ring a bell.
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