Update: Founder Marc Smirnoff, Managing Editor Leave The Oxford American

by Kate Knable and Lance Turner  on Monday, Jul. 16, 2012 12:02 pm  

Oxford American Managing Editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald and founder Marc Smirnoff have left the magazine, according to its publisher. (File.)

The Oxford American founder and Editor Marc Smirnoff and Managing Editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald have left the nonprofit magazine, Publisher Warwick Sabin said Monday.

Sabin, who will be interim editor, would not comment on the circumstances surrounding the departures, saying that the magazine does not comment on personnel matters. He said publication of the print magazine and its website would continue as normal. The next print edition is scheduled for Sept. 1, he said.

The departures come after Sabin on Wednesday locked magazine employees out of its office at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. At the time, Sabin told the Democrat-Gazette that a personnel investigation was under way.

The UCA office remains closed and the investigation continues, Sabin said. Law enforcement is not involved. Sabin hopes to have the UCA office reopened by Tuesday, but he said he's not certain when he'll be able to do so.

According to the Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service by The Oxford American Literary Project Inc., Smirnoff was paid $50,000 in salary (plus $3,414 in other compensation) as editor in calendar year 2010.

As Editor

Sabin said Monday that in the interim editor position, he will retain his publisher responsibilities and will take on a managerial role over the editorial staff, which has three full-time employees and five interns. The business side of the operations has five full-time employees.

Sabin will continue to work from the magazine's Little Rock office. The remaining editorial staff will retain their office on the campus of UCA. The separate offices have created "no problems that I'm aware of," Sabin said.

"What I'll be doing is overseeing the editorial operation, taking responsibility for it. But the bulk of the editing will continue under the able supervision of our current editorial staff," Sabin said.

He may also do some editing, but prefers to abide by his principle as a publisher of providing "100 percent editorial independence to the editorial staff," he said.

Sabin has editing experience. He worked as an associate editor during the summer of 1999 for Foreign Affairs magazine in New York and as an associate editor for three years at the Arkansas Times of Little Rock.  

In his interim role, Sabin will also be assessing the structure of The Oxford American's editorial staff to determine if any job positions will be altered or added, he said.



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