Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, is the new editor in chief of the 159-year-old magazine, Bob Cohn, The Atlantic’s president, announced Tuesday.
Goldberg, who joined The Atlantic in 2007 from The New Yorker, succeeds James Bennet, who left the company this spring to become editorial-page editor at The New York Times. Goldberg is The Atlantic’s 14th top editor since the publication was founded in 1857. His appointment is immediate, and he will report to Cohn.
“There are a couple of blessings here: I know the team and I think the team is great,” Goldberg said in an interview. “I’m not starting where James Bennet started. Thanks … to his efforts, we’re in a very good spot.”
Goldberg has written 11 cover stories for the magazine and is a prolific contributor to TheAtlantic.com, helping shape the website’s voice. His most recent cover story, “The Obama Doctrine,” chronicled the U.S. president’s evolving foreign policy. His April 2015 cover story, “Is it Time for the Jews to Leave Europe,” was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, a prize he won in 2003 for “In the Party of God,” his story for The New Yorker on Hezbollah, the Shia militant group in Lebanon.
Goldberg began his career as a police reporter for The Washington Post. He was the Middle East correspondent and former Washington correspondent of The New Yorker, and also wrote for The New York Times Magazine and New York Magazine. Goldberg, a former New York bureau chief of the Forward, is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.
Goldberg said he would approach his new job the way he would an article for The Atlantic: research it and speak to everyone on staff.
“The truth is I have general thoughts about The Atlantic, but I really want to dive in deeply and systematically,” he said. “I want to apply Atlantic values to the future of The Atlantic.” He said he would spend the next two months “figuring out the place.”
“I want to try and sit with everyone and really just interview them about what they do and what they want to do; treat it like a story for a couple of months,” he said.
Cohn in a statement said Goldberg’s career “exemplifies Atlantic editorial values: he’s smart, creative, resourceful, and iconoclastic—and has a sense of humor to go with his core commitment to fairness and integrity.”
“He takes over as editor in chief at a time when our digital and video teams are reaching more people and having more impact than ever before, and when the magazine cover is rightly seen by many as the most valuable real estate in American journalism,” Cohn said in the statement.
In a memo to The Atlantic’s staff, David Bradley, the chairman of Atlantic Media, said: “Jeff’s assignment is to make The Atlantic an unequaled talent destination for all our editorial disciplines. It is talent, not format, that has drawn us to Jeff.”
Goldberg emphasized the task ahead, as well. “The central challenge for any media company like The Atlantic is to constantly grow on all platforms and constantly evolve, but not sacrifice standards and quality,” he said in the interview. “To me, the scarcest resource in media is quality. That’s our chief competitive advantage. The trick is to grow without watering down quality.”
In a statement announcing the new appointment, The Atlantic said Goldberg will oversee editorial in print, digital, and video, while also providing guidance and counsel to the editorial teams at CityLab and the company’s events division, Atlantic Live.