Ken Tucker, one of the founding staffers of Entertainment Weekly, is taking a buyout.
Jess Cagle, the magazine's managing editor, said Tucker was on the startup team that launched EW in 1989. Tucker announced his move in a tweet:
So, yes, I'm leaving @ew, my home base since 1989. Had a great time helping launch that super-fine mag/website. Time to write elsewhere.
— kentucker (@kentucker) February 13, 2013
Tucker's fans quickly weighed in:
Huge respect to @kentucker, as he departs EW: A man who writes better about everything than most people can write about anything.
— Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) February 13, 2013
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 13, 2013
In his memo to staff, Cagle called Tucker an icon:
He has contributed to all parts of the magazine. He has written cover stories, including one on Sean Penn, with whom he shared a cigarette despite the fact that “I haven’t smoked since high school; this is my idea of ‘participatory journalism.’” He has provided reviews of just about every medium. He has edited the DVD section.
But his role as TV critic has made Ken an icon. He was an early champion of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The X Files”—two shows that became important EW franchises. Judd Apatow credited Ken’s review with saving “Freaks and Geeks” long enough for it to last one great season. When the Kennedy Center Honors needed an essay on David Letterman for the ceremony program, they turned, of course, to Ken. With great enthusiasm and skill, Ken has taken his talents into the digital arena; he has put up something in the neighborhood of 1,850 posts since 2008 on EW.com, home to the Ken Tucker’s Watching TV blog.
Tucker is the magazine's second recent big-name departure after Lisa Schwarzbaum, a senior writer who had been with the magazine since 1991. Both took buyouts offered as part of a recent 6 percent reduction in global headcount at Time Inc.