NEW YORK Walter Anderson, the longtime chairman and CEO of Condé Nast's Parade Publications, who is credited with growing Parade magazine's circulation as he improved the quality of its content, will retire, the publisher said yesterday. He remains with the company until his successor is named.
"One of Walter's greatest achievements was his creation of the 'modern' Parade," said Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr., in a statement. "He transformed the Sunday magazine with new columns, ideas and a higher level of reporting and writing." In addition, "Walter has played a major role in Parade being one of the most successful publications in the company while publishing books, writing plays, and being an active public servant. We will miss him tremendously but wish him all the best in what I'm sure will be a very fulfilling retirement," Newhouse said.
Anderson, 64, has spent 31 years at the company, and during that span, Parade's circulation rose from 21.6 million in 129 Sunday newspapers to 33 million in 470 papers, according to Condé Nast.
He has held his present titles since 2000, rising from editor-in-chief, a post he took in 1979. Anderson joined the magazine in 1977 as a senior editor.
Earlier, Anderson held management jobs at Gannett Newspapers. He also worked as an investigative reporter, publishing stories in New York and Ring and as a writer for the Associated Press.
Given that background in journalism, it's perhaps not surprising that he strove to improve Parade's editorial standards, bringing in writers like Norman Mailer, Gail Sheehy, David Halberstam and Herman Wouk, and launching popular columns such as "Ask Marilyn" by Marilyn vos Savant and "In Step With" by James Brady.
Anderson has published five books, most recently Meant to Be: The True Story of a Son Who Discovers He Is His Mother's Deepest Secret, released in 2003 by HarperCollins.
Also a playwright, his latest work, Johnny's War, is being produced by Julian Schlossberg.
Anderson served in Vietnam from 1961-66. He is a member of the board of advisors of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Long a champion of literacy, he has received the Literacy Volunteers of America's Stars in Literacy Award with Barbara Bush in 1990, and he is a member of the board of advisors of the National Center for Family Literacy and serves on the board of Very Special Arts.
In 1999, Anderson launched "It's About Time," a series of filmed discussions with prominent Americans. The project is permanently available at the Library of Congress. His guests have included Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel; Marian Wright-Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund; former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley; the actor Christopher Reeve; and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.