Alan Murray has been named editor of Fortune, according to an announcement made today by owner Time Inc. He will be the 17th editor in the magazine’s 84-year history, succeeding Andy Serwer, who was with the publication for 29 years and served as its editor for eight years. Murray will assume the new role on August 25.
The appointment signals Fortune’s sensitivity to the increasing importance of digital technology and social sharing in the today’s mediascape. Since 2012, Murray has served as president of the Pew Research Center in Washington, where he led efforts to increase the center’s online presence. Under Murray's leadership, Pew’s site traffic has doubled and their social media referrals have tripled.
Previously, Murray worked at the Wall Street Journal, where most recently held the position managing editor and online executive editor, overseeing the WSJ's various websites, mobile products, TV, video, books and conferences. Before that, he helmed the magazine’s Washington bureau for a decade, during which time the bureau picked up three Pulitzers.
As editor of Fortune, Murray will be responsible for the publication’s print magazine, website and conference business. “Alan’s diverse background uniquely positions him to lead Fortune," Time Inc. evp Todd Larsen said in a statement. "He is a digital champion and media visionary who can bridge every aspect of our business, moving effortlessly from the newsroom to the boardroom to television to conference stage.”
Outgoing editor Serwer had a solid run during his eight years at the magazine's helm, introducing its first tablet edition, expanding its lucrative conference business, and just last month, overseeing the spin-off of a new Fortune.com site from CNNMoney, which involved the hiring of 24 new edit staffers. The Time Inc. announcement didn't include any mention of Serwer's future plans.
The magazine's circulation and advertising business have also been holding steady as of late: Fortune saw its overall circ rise 2 percent in the second half of 2013 (and single-copy sales rose 29 percent), per the Alliance for Audited Media; meanwhile, ad pages rose 3 percent through June, according to the Publishers' Information Bureau.