Michael Klingensmith Seen as Lead Candidate for Time Inc. CEO

We have a new name to throw into the “Next Time Inc. CEO” hat: Michael Klingensmith. According to The Wall Street Journal, Klingensmith has emerged as the leading candidate to oversee the publishing house when it’s spun off at the end of the year.

Klingensmith is a newcomer to the list of potential Laura Lang replacements. The most recent names considered included David Geithner, Howard Averill, and Todd Larsen — all Time Inc. insiders. However, Klingensmith makes sense, because of his history with the company and his smarts.

According to the Journal’s sources, Jeff Bewkes has said he wants “a real strong finance guy that can help run this company,” (sorry women!) and Klingensmith would fit that role.

Klingensmith is currently the CEO of the Star Tribune Media Company — publisher of the Star Tribune — but he worked for Time Inc. for over 30 years and served as CFO before leaving in 2008. Klingensmith is also credited with turning the Star Tribune around and making it profitable after the paper emerged from bankruptcy in 2009.

Bewkes is expected to make a decision about who will be the next Time Inc. CEO within the next few weeks. Until then, hold on to your hats. Or if you don’t wear a hat, grab your pants. If you’re not wearing pants, stay home.