For weeks, rumors swirled that Time magazine Managing Editor Walter Isaacson would be moving on after four years on the job, but not before he oversaw the closing of the crucial Election Day issue. Sure enough, though the election is unresolved, Isaacson's fate is not. On Nov. 14, the New Orleans native was promoted to editorial director of Time Inc., Time Warner's publishing unit, with a bevy of 40 magazines. Isaacson, 48, will be replaced by Deputy Managing Editor Jim Kelly, with whom he started at Time in 1978.

Isaacson's new role gives him more clout to shape strategies for the pending Old Media/New Media marriage of Time Warner and America Online. His main focus will be finding ways the magazines can work with AOL and CNN, another Time Warner unit. "I bring enthusiasm, if not wisdom," says Isaacson, who was Time Inc.'s New Media editor before joining Time. And for those old ink-stained wretches at the magazines who are nervous about their new Net partner, Isaacson seems to be the perfect liaison.

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