John Huey’s legacy at Fortune

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David Carr of The New York Times writes about departing Time Inc. boss John Huey, who got his start at the company running Fortune magazine.

Carr writes, “‘There have been bullets flying since I got here, way back when I first came as a writer at Fortune,’ he said, referring to his first job at the company, in 1988. ‘I came to work when it was just Time Inc., then it became part of Time Warner, and then it was Time Warner with Turner, and then it became AOL Time Warner and then just Time Warner again. I always figured my time might be up. Came close, but it never happened.’

“As the editor of Fortune, Mr. Huey was a consummate magazine maker, turning out a product that was modern, knowing and highly decorated. A former naval intelligence officer, he displayed a remarkable understanding of how power operates in corporate America, which served him well as he navigated his way to the top of Time Inc.

“‘Media can be a very dangerous and political business — I am not an innocent in such matters, by the way — but I always had enough information to stay away from the more obvious hazards,’ he said. ‘And we did O.K. We avoided major conflagrations, there were no $1 billion lawsuits, and no compromise in the journalism we were doing at our magazines.’

“He had excellent relationships with Richard Parsons and Jeffrey Bewkes, the former and current chief executives of Time Warner, which came in handy, given that the leadership at Time Inc. became somewhat chaotic after the departure of Don Logan, the former chief executive and a mentor of Mr. Huey.”

Read more here. The article discloses that the CNNMoney.com website makes more money than either Fortune or Money.