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VQR announces new publisher, deputy editor

December 12, 2011 | 12:50 pm

Vqr_iranThe Virginia Quarterly Review, commonly known as VQR, announced Monday that the National Endowment for the Arts' former director of literature, Jon Peede, would take on the role of publisher. The announcement comes 16 months after the magazine was rocked by the suicide of longtime managing editor Kevin Morrissey.

VQR's management came under scrutiny after Morrisey's death. Those greiving over Morrissey turned their attention to the magazine's editor, Ted Genoways, who countered that his actions had nothing to do with Morrissey's suicide.

Genoways, who became editor of VQR in 2003, was the creative force behind the magazine. He took it from being a typically quiet literary journal to a showcase for long-form journalism, presenting complex international stories and prize-winning photography and, for the first time, being nominated for National Magazine Awards.

With concerns swirling around the magazine, the University of Virginia, home to VQR, decided to conduct a financial and management audit. The results of that audit vindicated Genoways, with the university saying it had found "no specific allegations of bullying or harassment," as had been alleged. It went on to say that organizational changes would be in the offing.

The announcement of Peede as publisher is part of that organizational change. “I am delighted to serve the University of Virginia and the literary community in this role,” Peede said in a statement. “It is a privilege to work on a publication of such distinction and with so much promise. At a time when so many magazines and newspapers have reduced their reporting, VQR stands out for its editorial ambition, thoroughness, and cultural importance.” Peede was the literature director at the NEA from 2007-2011.

A new deputy editor, Donovan Webster, was named Monday. Webster is a former senior editor of Outside Magazine and has written for the New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.

Continuing the organizational changes was the announcement of an advisory board to "advise on matters such as organizational structure, editorial vision, thematic content, and business growth models for VQR." The board includes:

Marie Arana, writer-at-large, Washington Post; former editor in chief of Washington Post Book World; National Book Award finalist;

Larry Bridges, chief executive of Red Car Inc.; filmmaker and poet;

Jon Fine, director, author & publisher relations, Amazon;

David Griffin, visuals editor, Washington Post; former executive editor for e-publishing and director of photography, National Geographic

Joe Hutchinson, art director, Rolling Stone;

Jay Morse, former chief financial officer, Washington Post;

Amy O’Leary, deputy news editor, online --  The New York Times;

Siva Vaidhyanathan, chair, department of media studies, University of Virginia


UVA issues VQR audit: No bullying on record

Virginia Quarterly Review, Part 2: Forging a future, now in jeopardy

Virginia Quarterly Review, Part 1: A suicide rocks the esteemed literary journal

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Image: A copy of VQR. Credit: Virginia Quartlery Review