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NJ’s Oliphant Moves into Writing Role

Unknown-6Seriously, folks, this is not a veiled demotion.

Jim Oliphant, who has been the National Journal deputy magazine editor for almost two years, is moving into a strictly writing newsroom role. So they’re on the hunt for his replacement, while letting him do what he loves as senior writer.

See the gushing internal memo from Editor Tim Grieve.

I’m writing with some very cool news for Jim Oliphant – and for all of us.

A veteran of the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and Legal Times, Jim is a writer and editor with a deep understanding of politics, the White House, Congress and legal affairs. At National Journal, he’s written some of the best pieces we’ve run in our magazine and on our site – a memorable exploration of Chief Justice John Roberts, a wrenching profile of Ken Feinberg, a really smart take on the Republican “wonderland” of North Carolina, and way too many others to mention.  He’s also been a terrific deputy editor for the magazine – a great conceptualizer of stories, a gifted line editor and a fantastic partner in bringing them in for a landing.

I want more of both – more of Jim’s writing, and more of Jim’s talents as a mentor and teacher and agent for change.

And I think we’ve come up with a way to have it all.

We’re launching a national search for a new managing editor to work with Executive Editor Adam Kushner in making the National Journal magazine rock. And as soon as we find the right candidate, Jim is going to move to a new role in the newsroom: as a senior writer producing compelling, high-impact stories for the magazine and the web while continuing to serve as a real leader at National Journal – a journalist whose voice carries tremendous weight both behind closed doors and out in the bullpen.

Jim is as excited about this move as we are. In fact, he’s pushed us to go public with this news so that we can get the search going for a new magazine managing editor and – in the process – accelerate his transition to his new role.

So, please congratulate Jim on his move, and let us know if you know anyone who’d be great for the magazine job.  We’ll post the opening on the web shortly, but the best candidates almost always come via referrals from within.

                                                                                                                                      — Tim Grieve

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