(CNN) — Noah Shachtman, the hard-charging editor with a knack for scrutinizing the rich and powerful, announced Friday that he is resigning from his post as editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone, following discussions with the iconic music and culture magazine’s top boss about the publication’s direction.
Shachtman, who will formally step down on March 1, said in a statement that he was “so proud” of everything he and his team have accomplished over his two-and-a-half-year tenure, but signaled that he had differences with Rolling Stone chief executive Gus Wenner.
“Culture-shaping scoops and profiles, a National Magazine Award, an Emmy nomination, more than two billion views in the last year alone, and, most importantly, the assembling of a genuinely remarkable team,” Shachtman said, listing the publication’s recent accomplishments.
In a note to staff, Wenner thanked Shachtman and said that he will begin a search for a new editor in the coming weeks. But he stressed that he is “in no rush” and that the “team we have in place is exceptional.” Wenner said that during the interim period, Sean Woods, deputy editor, and Lisa Tozzi, digital director, will “take over day-to-day editorial leadership.”
“I have an incredible amount of confidence and trust in our entire team and could not be more excited about the next chapter in Rolling Stone’s evolution,” Wenner said in his memo.
Shachtman added that while he was stepping down as editor, he would be a contributing writer for the magazine.
“I’ll also be writing for other outlets while I work on a start-up project,” he said.
When he took the reins of the magazine in 2021, Shachtman, the former editor of The Daily Beast, spoke openly about his desire to change the venerable outlet’s culture to catch up with the digital age, effectively drawing on the playbook that he executed at The Daily Beast to make the legacy magazine relevant again. To that end, he poached several staffers from the punchy digital outlet he previously led and widened the magazine’s aperture to cover more politics-related stories.
Shachtman also emphasized that under his stewardship, Rolling Stone would not be afraid to take aim at some of music’s biggest names.
“The new Rolling Stone is going to confront monsters,” Shachtman said at the time, “even — especially — if it means confronting monsters the magazine helped elevate.”
Wenner’s father, Jann, a co-founder of Rolling Stone, faced condemnation last year after making comments to The New York Times that were widely denounced as sexist and racist. The scandal ultimately led to Jann being removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the time, Rolling Stone described the comments as “offensive” and Shachtman published a piece examining the magazine’s history.
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