'Time' Deputy M.E. Priscilla Painton Quits

According to this memo from Time magazine managing editor Rick Stengel, his deputy, Priscilla Painton, is headed out the door, in search of her "Act Two." Painton joined Time in 1989 and later edited the magazine's "Nation" section. Painton's exit marks yet another departure of a "Time/life-er," increasingly rare on the 23rd floor. But! Stengel promises champagne to the magazine's dwindling staffers—French, no less—to soften the blow. No word yet as to who will replace Painton, who was known (wait for it!) for her competence.

Date: Oct 16, 2007 3:25 PM Subject: To: Redacted To: TIME Staff From: Rick Stengel

After twenty magnificent years at TIME, Priscilla Painton has decided
to leave us before the end of the year. Priscilla recently came to me
and said she wanted to figure out "Act Two" of her career, and try
something new and completely different.

Before I say how much we will miss her, let me talk a little about her
"Act One." Priscilla has two qualities that are unmatched: her
unrelenting passion for our mission as journalists and the
intellectual rigor with which she approaches everything that we do.
When I worked with her in Nation, there was no one who could inspire
you so much to go out and find a great story—and no one who would
bounce it back so quickly when it didn't meet her standards. She cares
deeply about every aspect of the stories that we do—from the reporting
to the headline to the picture captions. There's no way to quantify
how much her passion and her standards have contributed to the
unmatched quality of TIME over the last two decades, except to say
that we wouldn't be who we are without Priscilla Painton. It will be
hard to match those qualities in the years to come, but her legacy is
that she's taught us all how to do so.

We will have a terrific celebration before she goes, and I promise,
the champagne will be good, and it will be French.

R.S.