Rolling Stone magazine named Noah Shachtman, the top editor at the Daily Beast, as its new editor-in-chief, ending a five-month search for a replacement.
Shachtman, who will start the new gig in September, replaces Jason Fine, who in February was moved to director of content development, charged with overseeing Rolling Stone Films, documentaries, podcasts and books.
“Rolling Stone changed my life. Its music journalism helped push me to play in bands for real. Its conflict reporting gave me a north star to aim for when I was a national security reporter,” Shachtman said. “Its gonzo political journalism inspired me as an editor. I can’t wait to work with Rolling Stone’s talented team to write the next chapter of this amazing story. Let’s do this.”
Prior to joining the Daily Beast in 2018, Shachtman started the Danger Room, a blog that snared a 2007 Online Journalism Award for Best Beat Reporting and the 2012 National Magazine Award for reporting in digital media.
Prior to journalism, Shachtman was a staffer in the Bill Clinton 1992 presidential campaign and a touring musician.
“Noah is a brilliant editor and journalist and has deep expertise running a digital-first operation, which will be critical to our continued growth,” said Gus Wenner, the president of Rolling Stone and the son of the founder, Jann Wenner, who sold a majority interest in the title to Penske Media in 2017.
In January, Penske Media CEO Jay Penske bought the remaining 49 percent from Singapore-based BandLab Technologies that Jann Wenner had sold earlier in a bid to jumpstart Rolling Stone’s nascent digital efforts.
“As iconic as Rolling Stone’s past is, I could not be more excited about our future with this team in place,” Gus Wenner said Thursday.
Shachtman is moving to Rolling Stone’s team carrying some baggage. He is named as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought against the Daily Beast by former Gawker editor-in-chief Carson Griffith, who claimed in February 2020 that she was never contacted by Daily Beast writer Maxwell Tani, who wrote a story depicting her as homophobic and racist.
Griffith claims Tani had a personal agenda due to his friendship with one of the writers who leveled the claims. Griffith said the explosive story destroyed her career and that it showed “gross irresponsibility” and the story was “essentially false and defamatory.”
Shachtman said at the time that the Daily Beast stood by its story. The suit is still pending.
On Tuesday, a judge rejected the Daily Beast’s motion to have the suit dismissed and concluded, “The court finds Griffith pled facts which indicates defendants acted with gross negligence.”