The way David Remnick became editor of The New Yorker is well-documented. A few weeks after Tina Brown had unexpectedly quit, S.I. Newhouse offered Michael Kinsley the job, then quickly withdrew his offer and gave it to Mr. Remnick.
Recently, Mr. Remnick gave a speech at his alma mater, Princeton, and offered a tiny anecdote about how he won perhaps the most coveted job in magazine journalism. The Daily Princetonian reports:
Recalling his rise to his current post, Remnick said he was "anointed by mistake." One weekend, he volunteered to write a memo on how to improve the magazine, and since the editor-in-chief position was empty at the time, his suggestions launched him into the job.
Maybe S.I. Newhouse saw the memo a day after he offered Mr. Kinsley the job?