The Cutline

Jonathan Alter talks about his post-Newsweek plans

Joe Pompeo
The Cutline

Jonathan Alter has left his post at Newsweek after almost three decades at the magazine. The news was first reported by Politico Monday morning.

Reached by phone, Alter told The Cutline he's "going to be doing other things," including a sequel to his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, which reached No. 4 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Scheduled for a 2013 release from Simon and Schuster, it will focus on the last two years of the president's current term. "I'm excited to continue the story," he said.

Alter also said there is "going to be an announcement about my daily job forthcoming." Asked if that job would be at Bloomberg News, where he has been writing a column for the past several months, Alter declined to comment, as did a Bloomberg spokesman. Alter remains under contract as a contributor at NBC News and MSNBC.

He is the latest in a protracted string of veteran Newsweek staff departures--and also the last of the so-called Newsweek Six that was still on staff. The magazine's new editor, Tina Brown, has been putting her stamp on the recently reinvented weekly as it continues to integrate with its new companion website, The Daily Beast, of which Brown is also editor-in-chief.

Alter said his exit had been simmering for some time.

"I wanted to make sure that Newsweek was going to be in good hands, because I care deeply about the magazine, so I spent a lot of time over the last nine months trying to make sure that happened," he said. "I had a great 28 years there. I think the magazine is in very good hands with [new owner] Sidney Harman and Tina Brown."

His final piece for Newsweek is in this week's issue.

UPDATE: A Newsweek spokesman emailed The Cutline with word that Alter will contribute to both the magazine and The Daily Beast on a freelance basis in the future.

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