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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Session:         Page of 824

think--editors become so insulated from the reality of the world that the picture they paint is apt to be inaccurate just by virtue of isolation.

After Harry sort of retired--and while the books seem to make a point about his being very active after 1960, when the new management came in, in fact, at least as far as I recall, he wasn't. He hadn't been before, in part, because he was in Italy, where his wife was an ambassador, for the better part of four years. Then he bought a house in Phoenix, and spent a lot of time there. And he, in fact, after 1963, when Hedley Donovan was made editor-in-chief, Harry in fact was an influence primarily after the fact, not before the fact. It was not his pressing his views on anybody so much as his critiquing the magazines after they had appeared, which was a perfectly proper role for a more-or-less retired person to play.

When I became chairman and Hedley became editor-in-chief, it was quite clear that, yes, there was a church and state. In fact, at some point even it was enunciated that the editor-in-chief reported to the Board of Directors. Well, that's a nice, interesting theoretical point, but, in fact, it is meaningful only to the extent that the directors can chit-chat with him, or--I suppose, if the worst had ever arisen--that the board would fire him. But, in fact, the board would only fire him if somebody had told them that the guy was no good, because no board is, in fact, capable of telling whether an editor-in-chief is really up to snuff or not. If he's a disaster--well, anybody can discover that. That becomes a publicly known thing. But the assumption that the board would have the knowledge to move on an editor-in-chief before it became public

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