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STEPPING DOWN: Walter Anderson, chairman and chief executive officer of Parade Publications, is retiring. Anderson, 64, has spent 31 years at Parade, where, during his tenure, circulation for the paper increased to 33 million from 21.6 million. Parade is now carried in 470 newspapers. Anderson was also responsible for attracting a stable of top writers to the publication, including David Halberstam, Norman Mailer, Gail Sheehy and James Brady.
“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,” said Condé Nast chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr. “We will miss him tremendously but wish him all the best in what I’m sure will be a very fulfilling retirement.” Anderson joined Parade as a senior editor in 1977, became editor in chief in 1979, and chairman and ceo in 2000. He will stay with the company until his replacement is named.
According to a Condé Nast spokeswoman, “The company is interviewing a number of highly qualified candidates.” Sources close to Parade say the candidates are both inside and outside Condé Nast. But insiders are already buzzing about a possible one — Richard Beckman, Condé Nast chief marketing officer and president of Condé Nast Media Group. Insiders believe Beckman, who’s run the corporate sales group for more than four years, is angling for a larger executive role at the company. They also speculate he could be searching for a new challenge given that two of his main projects, Fashion Rocks and Movies Rocks, have been canceled for 2009. “It’s a huge job,” said an insider of the Parade role. Anderson reported to Newhouse as ceo of Parade, and Newhouse will choose his successor. Should Beckman get the nod, the jockeying for the corporate sales post is bound to be bruising.
— Stephanie D. Smith