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Columbia University
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Fred Knubel, Director of Public Information

Columbia Names Winfrey to Head Magazine Center

Carey Winfrey, a seasoned magazine editor with experience in both newspapers and television, has been named director of the George Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism at Columbia University. His appointment was announced today by Joan Konner, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism.

A former editor of American Health and Cuisine magazines, founding editor of Memories and a reporter at The New York Times, he will be a full-time faculty member. His appointment is effective July 1.

"I am delighted that Carey Winfrey is returning to Columbia, his alma mater, to help new generations of students catch the excitement of magazine journalism," said Dean Konner in her announcement. "He has been an energetic presence in the magazine field as a writer, an editor and a creator of new publications. His experience in newspapers, radio and television will bring a multi-media vitality to the School's magazine program and the newly refurbished Delacorte Center."

The George Delacorte Magazine Center, founded in 1984 with a generous gift from publisher George T. Delacorte, offers instruction in writing, editing, publishing and business management taught by ranking journalism professionals in the magazine field. It recently moved into newly created quarters on the renovated eighth floor of the Journalism building. The Center sponsors an annual series of lectures by leaders in magazine journalism.

Mr. Winfrey, a 1963 graduate of Columbia College and a 1967 graduate of the Journalism School, said in commenting on his new appointment: "It's time to start giving something back, to be stimulated by bright young people. Some people think magazine journalism is an endangered species. But it's not. We need to be reminded of how important it is to our lives. There is nothing about the Internet that beats magazines' portability and accessibility, their graphic display, and the synergy of their words, images, headlines and ideas."

Mr. Winfrey, 54, announced in February that he would step down in mid-May as editor of American Health, a Reader's Digest Association publication, after more than five years as its chief. "It's time for the next challenge," he said at the time.

His nearly three decades in journalism have taken him from one challenge to another. After graduating from Columbia Journalism School, he was chosen to be an intern at the Public Broadcast Laboratory (PBL), the pioneering NET television magazine. With the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship he had been awarded at Columbia, he went to Hong Kong, where he was a stringer for PBL, wrote articles for the Far Eastern Economic Review and worked as a reporter, commentator and producer for HK-TVB. Upon his return to the United States in 1968, he joined Time magazine, where he wrote "The Press" and other sections. In 1971 he left to produce Behind the Lines, a weekly television program about journalism for Thirteen/WNET, which went national in its second season and earned an Emmy Award. He went on in 1975 to become executive producer of Assignment America, a weekly conversation and documentary series, and the following year was named executive producer of local news and public affairs.

He moved to the metropolitan desk of The New York Times in 1977 where, as a general assignment reporter covering New York City, he won Columbia's Meyer Berger Award for his reporting on New York life. He covered the Jonestown massacre in Guyana for The Times and then was posted to Nairobi, Kenya, where he covered sub-Saharan Africa for a year, seeing three wars, seven changes of government, and the ouster of Uganda dictator Idi Amin.

Returning to broadcasting, he worked for a time with CBS Cable and in 1982 joined CBS Publications as director of video development. He produced pilots from CBS magazines and created "A Walk Through the Universe," an interactive videodisk, for the CBS textbook division. He became editor-in-chief of CBS's Cuisine in 1983 and vice president and editorial director of an expanded CBS Magazines division in 1985. He launched Memories magazine in 1988. It was named "Best New Magazine" of 1989 by Advertising Age, but it was suspended in 1990 in an industry-wide recession. He became editor-in-chief of American Health in 1990. It was named one of Adweek's "10 Hottest Small Magazines" in 1993.

Mr. Winfrey has been a director of the American Society of Magazine Editors since 1995. He is the author of Starts and Finishes, a memoir (Saturday Review Press/E.P.Dutton, 1975).

He and his wife, the former Jane Keeney, live with their 13-year-old twin sons in Manhattan and Dutchess County, N.Y.