TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs sent a memo to the TIME staff upon stepping down from the position she held since 2013 and after 32 years at the brand. You can read Gibbs' memo in full below, followed by a memo from Time Inc. president and CEO Rich Battista and Time Inc. chief content officer Alan Murray to the Time Inc. staff.
From: Nancy Gibbs
Subject: Time for You
In the fall of 2013, when I became Editor-in-Chief, more than half of you were working somewhere else. You came to help us tell great stories in brand new ways: When we all set out together, we had never been nominated for a Primetime Emmy, or done a live broadcast from the International Space Station, or convinced three refugee families to let us spend an entire year telling the story of their exodus from a war zone, or shot a dozen covers on an iPhone. Readers noticed. We started out with a digital audience of about 25 million; it is now 60 million. In the past four years, we built Motto and TIME Labs, launched Red Border Films and LIFE VR. We are among the biggest of any news brand on Instagram, have more than 12 million Facebook followers and took our most ambitious journalism from the Kazakh steppes to Westeros to the Oval Office.
Our success came from both talent and teamwork. TIME’s culture of collaboration has made it the privilege of my life to work here. I found some of my greatest teachers and my best friends—and as it turned out, my husband, who is all three. He is the only person I will cite here, because there are just too many people to whom I owe too much. Suffice it to say that every day—or just as often, late at night—something happened here, some act of kindness or courage or genius, that reminded me why I am so grateful to call you my colleagues.
TIME has thrived in a state of constant change, and so it's part of its life cycle that the time to change has come again. As of today, I will step down as Editor-in-Chief, but I will remain to help in the coming months with the next reinvention and support the immensely important work you all do.
I hear from readers every day about the value they place in our fairness, our attitude of critical optimism, our faith in the possibility of progress, even as we follow Walter Lippmann's highest law of journalism, to "tell the truth and shame the devil." And as excited as I am about writing my own next chapter, I will never stop being your most devoted reader.
From: Rich Battista and Alan Murray
Subject: Note from Rich Battista and Alan Murray: Nancy Gibbs Steps Down As Editor-In-Chief of TIME
Today marks the end of an era.
Nancy Gibbs, TIME’s Editor-in-Chief, has announced she is stepping down after 32 years at the brand, including four years at its helm. She will remain with the company until the end of the year in her job as Editorial Director of the News Group, and we hope to keep her involved with the company in various ways for many years to come. But she has told us: “It’s time for another chapter.”
Nancy has been the top editor at TIME for four years, and she has defined its unique voice for much longer than that. She has unparalleled powers as a storyteller, and for millions of people she has told the story of our nation—and our world—in a comprehensive, compelling and compassionate way. As editor, she successfully ushered TIME into a new era, meeting the demands of growing digital and mobile audiences, as well as introducing the brand to new audiences while building on its tradition of excellent journalism. She is without doubt one of the most outstanding journalists of her generation.
Nancy, who is the first woman to lead TIME, took over the top editor’s job in September 2013 and since then has presided over a doubling of its audience and an immeasurable increase in its relevance. The role that TIME’s journalism—and the TIME magazine cover—played in the most recent US presidential election and the Trump presidency illustrate that point.
During her tenure at TIME, Nancy, a presidential historian, has interviewed five US presidents. She is the co-author, along with TIME’s Michael Duffy, of two best-selling presidential histories. She has also interviewed a host of world leaders and has written more cover stories for TIME than any other writer in its history.
Nancy is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. But we plan to move quickly to name a new editor-in-chief. Nancy has built not only a remarkable legacy but also a remarkable news organization, and we are determined to maintain its power and relevance in the years ahead.
Please join us in congratulating Nancy for her many accomplishments and wishing her the best of luck in her new endeavors.
Rich and Alan
Denis Wilson is the content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzes and reports on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aims to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.