This report just in, from a source who assures us he knows of what he speaks:
The new Economist editor is John Micklethwait, the dashing heartthrob of the Economist's "Tower" in London, and an all-around good guy. Just decided by the board in London; heard about this from two staff members via IM.
Micklethwait has been the magazine's U.S. editor since 1999, and we're told he beat out other candidates including business editor Ed Carr, deputy editor Emma Duncan, and Clive Crook, the former deputy editor who decamped to The Atlantic.
UPDATE: OK, now there's been a press release and coverage and everything. But if our stupid servers didn't take 20 minutes to post an item, we would have had this first. Really.